Make Mumbai Safe: 'Mumbai losing its reputation of being safer than other metros'
After the chilling incident of gang rape in Delhi on Sunday, MiD DAY spoke to working women and students in the city to find out is Mumbai still a safe city for women?
It is very unsafe during the night, especially in empty train compartments and BEST buses. We need to take care of ourselves and recognise the motives of a person looking at us in a weird manner. — Kshama Poojary (19), a resident of Powai
I think I will join Karate classes for my self-defense as the crimes against women in the city are increasing. During college events, we tend to go home late, so for our safety it is very important to know how to defend ourselves.
— Manali Survase (19), a resident of Borivli
It is indeed unsafe in the nights, and indulging in an argument or anything of the sort would not do you good anyway. The best way to keep yourself safe while traveling in the night is by talking to your friends and family on the phone and keeping them updated about where you are so that in case of emergency, they know where to find you.
— Vaibhavi Rughani (18), a resident of Bandra
For me, it is very difficult to trust the auto and taxi drivers in the city in the night as they tend to take you through alternate routes while you want to go in a completely different direction. During the night, there are men gazing at you while you are on a platform or at a bus stop.
— Nidhi Singh (21), a resident of Andheri
With all the crimes happening around us, having a friend traveling along with you is always better as you never know what could happen otherwise since no one can be trusted. It is difficult to travel in empty buses and trains as there is nobody around and we are in constant fear.
— Neha Pawar (19), a resident of Thane
I work with a production house and often have to stay back till late at night as there are deadlines to be met. Getting back home after 11 pm in the night is dreadful. Buses are late as the frequency reduces, the trains are loaded with men and the auto drivers don’t miss any chance to stare at you through the rearview mirror.
— Divya Nayyar (27), a resident of Andheri
I am from Delhi, but shifted to Mumbai less than a year ago to work in a production house. I was aware of rising crime against women in Delhi but after reading newspapers here, I have realised that the condition here is not much different. I usually return home late from a shoot and recently, I have started feeling uneasy in my own surroundings.
— Aarooshee Sood, a media professional
With the recent increase in crimes against women in the city I am petrified to even walk down a busy road after 8 pm. It is a shame that despite so many cases coming to light, there are no substantial measures being taken by the government for our safety. Though I have seen guys passing comments at my colleagues and me on several occasions, I never took the issue seriously. Henceforth, I have decided to avoid staying out of the house during the night, even in company of my male friends.
— Akanksha Thakur, an NGO worker
I feel it is always better to travel in your private vehicles while planning to go out in the night, as they are the safest. There is fear in the minds of the women due to the crime going on around in the city, and empty public transport is surely something which needs to be avoided.”
— Akshata Bandiwadekar (25), a resident of Mira road
My job demands that I visit several places across the city for my stories. These places may also include slums and secluded areas where men stand and make lewd comments on women passing by. I have learnt to ignore them in the past few years, but the situation seems to be worsening. Now, I feel that I made a mistake by not reporting those incidents. The city seems to be losing its reputation of being a safer for women as compared to other metros.
— Shradha Chettri, a content writer
When I was working at a call centre and had late shifts, it was a nightmare to travel. Due to our tight day schedules, we can only go out with friends for late night movie shows, but we cannot plan to meet as public transport and the streets are no longer safe.
— Madhuri Pednekar (25), a resident of Borivli
— As told to Chetna Yerunkar