Converting all-boys schools to co-ed, more public toilets among proposals to make Delhi safer for women
Campus police force to secure universities, better last-mile connectivity from metro stations, phasing out all-boys schools and building more toilets for women are some of the recommendations made by a six-member panel to Delhi Police to make the national capital safer for its girls and women.Updated: Jun 22, 2018 09:23 IST
A dedicated campus police force to secure universities, better last-mile connectivity from metro stations, phasing out all-boys schools and building more toilets for women are some of the recommendations made by a six-member panel to Delhi Police to make the national capital safer for its girls and women.
The panel that submitted its report on Tuesday had various stakeholders from Delhi Police, National Commission for Women, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Delhi Commission for Women, National Institute of Urban Affairs and Urban Spaces and representatives from northeast support centre and other NGOs.
In its report, the panel has mentioned irregular police patrolling, insensitivity shown by the police, scarcity of public toilets for women, overcrowded and unsafe public transport, lack of support from bystanders and absence of proper dustbins for menstrual waste disposal as some of the factors that add to making Delhi unsafe for women.
“Even a city like Delhi has barely enough public toilets for women and even where they exist, these are not always useable. For example, in south Delhi, out of 1,147 toilets, only 67 were allotted for women.There have been several cases of sexual assault in toilet blocks. This is even worse in low-income areas where houses do not have individual toilets,” the report read.
It says that poor lighting poses a challenge as the city gets hostile after dark and securing university campuses and schools is one of the most important areas when it comes to women security.
Regular security audits of schools and teaching staff, having a dedicated campus police force that can be familiarised with the campus and work with students and faculty, better management of cycle rickshaws at university metro stations and constitution of a campus safety team are certain measures that the reports suggests to make schools and university campuses safer.
One of the panel members, Pamela Singla, professor from Department of Social Work, Delhi University said, “We suggested phasing out all boys-only schools because the committee feels that if boys and girls study together, certain stereotypes could be broken. They would be friends with each other and understand each other’s needs better. We have presently not advised to phase out all girls-only schools as girls might stop going to school.”
In order to make public transports safer, the panel suggested introducing a system of immediate response to sexual harassment in buses by installing a helpline inside bus directly linked to the police control room. It also stated, “setting up of a central database of drivers of public transport, improving last mile connectivity, addition of pre-paid auto stands at high-use Metro stations, collection of gender-disaggregated data to improve transportation services.”
On safety of the homeless women, the report said that a data of such women shall be set up and there should be checks on violence against women at shelter homes, life skills training workshops and career counselling, legal help and encouragement to file FIR in a case of sexual assault for homeless need to be ensured.
On an average, this year till June 15, Delhi witnessed more than five cases of rape everyday. At least nine women faced molestation everyday and more than 10 women/girls were kidnapped/abducted in the city each day on an average.
Singla also added that when it comes to women safety on campuses, the report has enlisted certain areas. “We need to have more women hostels. We already have internal complaint committee which needs to be strengthened. ICC members need to be more available to the students and to the faculty members,” she said.
First Published: Jun 22, 2018 09:18 IST