Before Criticising Free Metro Rides For Women, Consider The Plight Of The Underprivileged

Women empowerment and equality have started making their presence felt in India. We see political parties speaking volumes about women empowerment and recently, Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, announced free metro and bus rides for women commuters in the Capital. This recent proposal has given air to many disagreements and questions. Some believe the idea does not promote equality, while others have raised questions over its feasibility. Some consider it ‘special treatment’.

All of us have come across a host of narratives around the issue. In my opinion, this idea (since it’s yet to be formalized), can provide women with an opportunity to step out of their houses. Here, I happen to be talking about women who come from small towns and underprivileged sections of society.

According to reports, the percentage of working women in Delhi stands at 11.7%. Therefore, it goes without saying that there are bound to be financial constraints ( a large number of women are homemakers)

Moving on, working women are hesitant to undertake long-distance journeys. Girls studying in colleges and universities are also required to travel over long distances daily. Generally, women and girls do not opt for P.G. accommodation owing to security concerns.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) hiked the fares in 2017. Consequently, the number of commuters decreased considerably. According to me, the Metro rapid transit happens to be the safest mode of transport for women commuters. CCTV surveillance makes it easier for everybody to keep track of things. You are likely to find a place to sit if you’re lucky enough. Travelling in a metro is way more convenient than hiring a personal cab at night. What more does a person want?

Those criticizing this move on the grounds of equality fail to recognize the plight of the women coming from underprivileged backgrounds. Not everybody is privileged enough to travel in a cab on a daily basis. Women are a long way away from achieving what men have achieved. Equality, in all fairness, is a deceptive term. Providing women with free metro rides won’t contribute to inequality. In fact, it will help make life easier for them. Before questioning the proposed idea, we should question the privileges given to men. This idea is a much-deserved initiative undertaken by the Delhi government and is expected to help women commuters immensely.

Similar Posts

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, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’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