It is two years now that a girl was brutally gangraped in a moving bus in the national capital. But the fear still lingers in the minds of Lucknow’s women folk, who refrain from venturing out of their homes alone, especially during night hours.They feel that despite all promises of safety arrangements by the state, they are unsafe and vulnerable to all sorts of crimes.
As a result, whenever they move out for parties or movie shows at night, they have to ensure that some friend or family member escorts them.
When HT spoke to a cross-section of women, it was found that their families were scared of sending them out in view of the latest trends of crime against women on roads and in public transport.
“Parties these days begin only at night because youngsters generally get free from work by 9 pm. But girls never come alone. They are either dropped and picked up by their family members/drivers or are accompanied by some male friends for such parties,” says manager of a city lounge.
Not just for the parties, even in case of emergency when the girls are required to move out during night hours, they prefer to be accompanied by some male friend or relative for safety.
Shruti Singh, a corporate sector employee who leaves office at 9pm every day, feels if the office cab isn’t provided even for a day, the journey back home becomes tough. “I prefer to book the entire auto rather than sharing it with other passengers who could be drunk. But, when incidents of rape by taxi drivers come to light, it’s better to stay back in office and wait for the cab or request a male colleague to drop me home.”
Rekha Pachauri, a research scholar at Lucknow University who hails from Agra and is living in a private accommodation with her friend in Indira Nagar, says: “I feel girls who live without their families are at greater risk. People nearby, in college and even colleagues in office know that the girl lives alone and thus can be easily targeted.”