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Only 22% streets in Mumbai are walkable for women, states survey

According to the survey by NGOs Akshara and Safetipin (which runs the app), Mumbai’s overall safety rating is 56%, which means 44% of areas in the city are unsafe

mumbai Updated: Dec 18, 2017 10:18 IST
Eeshanpriya M S
Eeshanpriya M S
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,safety,women safety

Despite the constant awareness and various measures, Mumbai remains unsafe for women, according to a recent survey.

According to the survey by NGOs Akshara and Safetipin (which runs the app), Mumbai’s overall safety rating is 56%, which means 44% of areas in the city are unsafe. It states that only 22% of Mumbai’s streets are walkable, while only 31% are adequately lit.

The survey was based on the feedback from people and volunteers who used the app, most of which came from G-south and M-west wards. While the survey gives an overall rating of 3.4 on 5, experts say it does not reflect positively on the city as the response is mainly only from two wards.

Akshara and Safetipin released the Women’s Safety Audit Report of Mumbai conducted under ‘Mobile based Safety Audits to collect data on Women Safety’ of UN Women, on Friday.

At the launch of the report, chief guest Vijaya Rahatkar, the chairperson of the Maharashtra State Commission for Women, promised to direct the police and municipal commissioner of Mumbai and corporators to act on the suggestions.

The report recommends getting brightly lit streets, smoother pavements with improved visibility, fewer hurdles such as hawkers, and encroachments, more security with CCTV cameras, police or private security personnel, and safer public transport for women.

One hundred and seventy volunteers from Akshara travelled across Mumbai for more than three months to conduct these audits using the mobile application.

The audit rated the places on nine parameters – lighting, openness, visibility, crowd, security, walkpath, availability of public transport, gender diversity and feeling (of safety - which is the only subjective parameter). The survey was conducted during a fixed time between sunset and 10 pm everyday.

Rahatkar said, “Women should not only get a feeling of safety while accessing public places, but also of dignity and entitlement”.

Anju Pandey, programme specialist, Ending Violence Against Women, UN Women, said, “Women experience the city differently from men, and the fear of sexual violence in public space has far-reaching effects on their quality of life.”

Nandita Shah, co-director of Akshara, urged Mumbaiites to download My Safetipin, and contribute to the survey, thus increasing its sample, authenticating conclusions. Shah said, “My Safetipin is a free mobile application that anyone can download, and register on. Then any individual can survey the area he or she visits, based on the nine given parameters.”

Even government officials and policemen can create an account in the mobile app, and view all citizens’ surveys, making it an intensely participatory interface.

First Published: Dec 17, 2017 23:29 IST