Aditi Verma (name changed) used to look forward to travelling by bus, till a year ago. Things changed for her the day she was touched inappropriately by a man on her way to work.
“I was standing in the crowded bus when someone put his hand on my waist. I moved away immediately, but this incident jolted me. Since then I am extra cautious,” said the 28-year-old who commutes by bus daily from her residence to office in south Mumbai.
Aditi is among countless women who have been sexually harassed while travelling in public transport. To mark the international 16 Days Campaign to oppose violence against women, NGO Akshara is conducting a survey on women’s safety in public transport, especially buses. Around 350 students will participate.
“The campaign is not just to create awareness but to sensitise people towards the issue. We will also conduct a survey to determine if women actually feel safe using public transport in 170-180 bus stops across the city,” said Snehal Velkar, a member of Akshara.
“Our aim is to make the city safe for women so they can travel without fear. To raise awareness, we need to ensure facilities are in place. We will distribute bookmarks with helpline numbers,” said Harshita Jaswani, an NSS volunteer.