This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Apoorva Vishwakarma. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Free Rides For Women Is A Welcome Move But How Will Govt Ensure Safety?

More from Apoorva Vishwakarma

Recently, the announcement of a new scheme by CM Arvind Kejriwal at a press conference of providing free rides in metro and buses created a buzz on social media with a plethora of mixed reactions polarising the people at large.

What piqued my interest in this was that people rather than viewing this move as a means of combating gender inequality, which might have the potential in bringing out unprivileged women and encouraging them to work in public sectors without thinking of the transport wages; it attracted a lot of prejudice and sexist remarks about women.

Some went on to say that its ‘special treatment’ for women, similar to separate coaches in Delhi metros and reserved seats in buses. I believe, such remarks portray the conditioned mindsets of some men which comes from the sense of hatred and prejudice against women and girls.

I think what’s important to consider here is how far this initiative could be helpful in reducing molestation and sexual harassment in metros and buses.

According to the Delhi government, this scheme will encourage women to step out of their houses and work. Secondly, they believe this is a step towards equality in the public domain, where men and women can equally share the space without the domination of men.

Smashing patriarchy from its roots and  providing equal and a free liberating space for women and girls in our society sounds like one of the targets of this initiative, but it all sounds rhetorical and seemingly impossible, when I see everyday monsters on crowded buses masturbating and trying to touch women; while women silently avoid or try to shift around the leg space area of the so-called reserved seats for women.

In situations such as these, how far does the Delhi government see this initiative beneficial for women and society at large?

Free metro rides in Delhi
NEW DELHI, INDIA – AUGUST 12: Heavy crowd and chaos at Rajiv Chowk station as Metro trains were running late.

Though this is a very welcoming initiative by the Delhi government, women have been underprivileged for a long time and thus they must take advantage of this scheme. I am all for the overcrowding it might lead to if a proportion of women increases in the public domain.

As they say, women feel safer in the company of other women, though I wish I could have said the same about men too. Well, that will take time as the change needs to take place on an ideological level in our society. However, without infrastructure for such schemes, how will the DMRC manage the gradual upsurge in buses; it all sounds hollow and equal to believing in a Utopian existence.

But what I find more alarming is that Kejriwal has admitted that the daily ridership will increase by one lakh. So, how will the government ensure the safety of the increasing number of women using public transport?

 

 

You must be to comment.
  1. Prateek Murarka

    well I really don’t find it a great move when concerned about women safety.
    here it is said that women are more comfortable with other women, really..??
    You call it a solution..??
    Is it a school or something were some teachers with their conservative mind ask boys to sit in one side and girls other..??
    we are social animal and we need to feel comfortable with whatever gender we are working with.
    If arvind ji is really looking forward to increase the no of travellers by giving concessions it should be on the basis of salary or finical conditions And then men and women should be equally provided with concession.

  2. Christiano Ronaldo

    I will see it as a balanced move by the Delhi government, metro has more capacity and it can adjust to that if they plan properly, traffic will get little easy too, it will be safer when women will use metro transport after work, currently only 33% women use metro, this will allow some women who belong to lower middle class and middle class to go out and seek work, travel more distances easily at no cost and will allow our young girls from that class only to continue their higher education conveniently from the colleges which are based on the other corner of the city but you know DMRC will have to suffer from it which Kejriwal will take care of when he comes to power again…. Your post is good, a good read and what is your opinion about the current smog and air quality crises in the NCR region. Thank you!

More from Apoorva Vishwakarma

Similar Posts

By Krithiga Narayanan

By PRASANTA PATRI

By Jyotsna Richhariya

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below