The gangrape of the 23-year-old woman by seven men in a moving bus in Delhi has triggered fear and a feeling that women are not safe even if they have a male companion.
“How many wake up calls do our authorities need to improve facilities like street lighting and safe transport in Gurgaon,” asked Richa Dubey, a resident.
The private autorickshaw service remains largely unregulated as autos are unmetered and several of them are not even registered with the transport authority. Uncouth auto drivers often overcharge and misbehave with women passengers, residents said.
After sundown, it’s difficult to get a safe transportation mode in the city. The 70 odd city buses are off the roads well before 10 pm. Even during the day, their sparse frequency even in prominent areas like the MG Road, Iffco Chowk, DLF Cyber City etc doesn’t help the situation forcing the commuters to board the unsafe cabs.
Bhupinder Singh, the India CEO of Serco Global Services which has around 1,500 women employees at its Gurgaon office, said unavailability of safe public transport has forced the BPOs to provide pick and drop facilities to their employees even if it costs the company substantially.
“Safety of women employees while they commute is a matter of great concern within the organisation. We do a monthly review of the standard security apparatus while picking up or dropping them home in company cabs and buses — ensuring they are not the first employee to be picked up and last to be dropped. If that becomes a necessity, there is a security guard accompanying them,” said Singh.
Dubey, who had organised ‘Girlcott’ campaign in the wake of a sensational rape incident last year, said women activists are planning to meet the DCP (crime) to set up a task force to ensure safety of woman commuters in the city.