‘Real’ action needed to ensure women’s safety, feel students
With crimes against women on the rise, security is a major issue for girls in the Sangam City, as they do not feel safe while going to market places late in the evening or travelling in public transport. They also want liquor and paan shops near schools and girls’ colleges to be immediately removed as these are the points where lumpens gather and pass sleazy remarks on them.
According to them, laws do exist for protection of women from sexual violence and harassment, but in reality they are not implemented at the ground level. Often facing explicit and offensive remarks while on their way to college, many girls now want some ‘real’ action by the district administration and UP government, so that they can continue their education without fear of rowdy elements or pressure from their family members.
At the Hindustan Times Forum at Rajarshi Tandon Girls’ Degree College on Friday, a participant Priya Sharma, MA political science student, said, “We face so many troubles in reaching college because there is no proper inter-city transport system for women. We want that the routes of city buses should be increased, covering important localities and colleges. The city buses should be equipped with CCTV camera and have women conductors.”
Sunita, another MA student who daily till recently travelled all the way from neighbouring Pratapgarh district to attend college in Allahabad, said she had to convince her parents a lot to allow her to continue her higher education in a good college in Allahabad as they were concerned about her safety.
“I used to travel alone. I also faced lewd remarks from boys sitting at tea and paan shops. I couldn’t do much as I was new to this city. Now, I have shifted with one of my relatives here. Still, I get embarrassed when auto rickshaws in which I am travelling play loud and vulgar songs. This should immediately stop. The music decks should be removed from tempos,” she added.
Priya Sharma said the vulgar songs provoked other rowdy elements present in the auto to pass cheap remarks. “The tempo drivers often overload passengers. Some of them even try to touch us. When we complain, the driver as well as co passengers ignore us. We want the police and district administration to take strict action and regulate the way tempos move in the city. The police should also ensure that the number plates on auto rickshaw and city buses should be clear and big,” she said.
PG students Gyanvi Sangharsh and Rishita Singh said some measures were also needed to protect girls from sexual harassment by close relatives. “The NGOs should work in this direction. Boys should be given right moral education right from school only.”
Pallavi, BA-IIIrd year student and artist, said due to stage performances she sometimes got late. “I have to call someone from my home to take me back as it’s not safe. What I want is that number of cops on night patrolling duty should increase.”
PG student Akansha Chak said installing CCTV cameras for women’s safety was not the only solution. “The CCTV cameras can get stolen. Instead, the police should make frequent surprise inspection of the colleges that come in their area,” she added.
Nisha Gupta, MA student, said CCTV cameras should be especially installed near girls’ colleges and coaching institutes. Undergraduate student Anupama said she often got unconvincing advice from her parents to not react when any person or rowdy element passed comments on her. “Such advice only makes us feel weak. We want parents to teach us how to handle these situations confidently. The government should also give better education and employment opportunity to us,” she said.