How to be safe in public transport

Avoid getting into a completely empty bus or a Metro train, especially during the night time. You do need a few people around to help you if things get unpleasant. However, an overcrowded mode of transportation might also lead to you being hassled.

entertainment Updated: Mar 30, 2012 02:27 IST
Hindustan Times

Avoid crowded transport
Avoid getting into a completely empty bus or a Metro train, especially during the night time. You do need a few people around to help you if things get unpleasant. However, an overcrowded mode of transportation might also lead to you being hassled. Also, there wouldn’t be space for you to get away from someone who tries to touch you inappropriately. Delhi has the option of a ladies compartment in the Delhi Metro. Travel in that.

Don’t dress to attract
Whenever you plan to take public transportation, you should always make sure to dress up in a way that you don’t attract attention to yourself. It means no expensive jewellry and no revealing clothes, which ensures that you blend in the crowd. Do your part in preventing being sexually molested. You can always carry your party wear separately in a bag, which can be worn later at the venue.

Sit strategically
Always try sitting at the aisle seat in the bus. This avoids the scenario of being pushed against the window with no way to defend yourself. This seat also allows a view of your surroundings, as well as gives you a chance of getting up and vacating the seat if an unpleasant person comes and sits beside you. Try sitting near the driver’s seat, so that you can always get him to stop the bus if something goes wrong.

Avoid talking to strangers
It is advisable to avoid initiating conversation with strangers you meet on a bus or the Metro. Never let them get hold of any personal information, which they might just get by listening to your conversation with your friends. So, avoid personal conversations as well. Often, auto rickshaw drivers start chatting with the passengers, which should be avoided.

Keep helpline numbers
There are various helpline numbers that are run by Delhi Police.
You should always try to keep these numbers handy in case of emergencies.

Travelling in a public mode of transportation can be very tricky in the city. Know some basic tips that can help you avoid getting into horrible and unpleasant situations

Safety tip
If you are returning home in a taxi alone, it is always better to have a friend with you. Try not to travel alone in the night. But just in case if you have to, then always sit in the back seat. Inform your parents or your friends by calling them or by texting them the taxi number and driver’s ID for your personal safety.

Know your rights
Have you ever wondered what to do if a person creates nuisance on the road? For instance, if he intentionally honks or blows musical horns repeatedly, creating undesirable sounds or suddenly stops and parks his car on the middle of the road with the intention of harassing you, then according to the ruling of the Delhi high court, this comes under traffic offense. In such instances, the person is liable to be punished for violating the traffic laws. So, when you come across such a situation, bring it to the notice of the traffic police immediately.

Where i feeL unsafe
I mostly feel unsafe in subways or lonely lanes in the city, especially at night or late in the evening.
Preeti Madan

Travelling by crowded public transport gives me a very unsafe feeling. Also, I feel unsafe in autos and rickshaws at night time.
Mamta Suri

My story
This incident happened when I was 14 years old. At the time, I was quite innocent and had not come across any untoward or distasteful incident of any kind. One day, when I was coming back from tuition with two of my female friends, I had to go through a dark narrow street adjacent to my house. We were walking on the left side of the street. All of a sudden, a guy riding his scooter, with a child sitting on the back, came and stopped near us. To my utter shock, the guy grabbed my breasts. Somehow, my friends pulled me back, and before I could react, the man ran away on his scooter within seconds. Though my friends shouted, I didn’t react, as I was dumbstruck. I just went home and wept a lot. This was the day when I realised how dirty the mindsets of the people in my city can be. I am 18 now and I don’t want to reveal my identity. I just wanted to share this incident. I think your campaign is a really good effort and it will help other girls to deal with such situations. There should be more such campaigns. Name withheld on request

What the expert says
I can sense that the pain and shock is really intense and all these years have made little difference. It is very brave of you to share this incident with the readers. The incident has made you bitter about the city and the men. However, you should always remember that there are some good and helpful people in the
city as well. Gently tell yourself that this was a chance event and you were not responsible for it in any manner. Try to learn something like self defence, which will help you be more in charge if a similar situation arises in the future. It would also help you develop a sense of power and get over this feeling of helplessness.
Pulkit Sharma, clinical psychologist, VIMHANS

Thanks for patting our back
Yasaswini Rao

The tips are really very useful.

Yash Gupta
HT City rocks. By all this, it means that now woman are more strong, and that is really great!
Akhilesh Verma

I appreciate the HT City safety tips and safety precautions for women. It will prove be helpful for women to protect themselves against sexual harassment.
Swati Agrawal

Thank you so much Ht City...ur initiative is awesum..!!! It feels good aftr readng dat they r people who respect women...HATS OFF 2 u guys!!! U r doing amazing..
Papia Dass

Better awareness indeed...!!! The best part I lykd... i.e. Know ur rights, and My Story... where I suppose even one can share their experiences without any pressure, which must open the eyes of the ppl who have vulgar thoughts!
Shalini Saini

This is really an amazing step taken by HT City ! It is really really helpful ! Keep Up The Good Work guys!
Aditi Jain

Great work HT City...!!!!! I hope through this, Delhi will become a much safer city, all thanks to u guys...
Shiva Singh

Awesome job, HT City!

Great going, guys! Thanks for making our lives safer than before. Now, at least women can gather the courage to fight against such monsters. we’re happy you find our safety tips useful, and that you’re appreciating the work we’re doing to make Delhi safe for women.

First Published: Mar 29, 2012 19:35 IST