New Delhi, 15 December
No change is witnessed on streets with regard to safety and security of women a year after the brutal gang-rape incident which shook the nation forcing the Parliament to frame new laws. The gruesome incident has not only invigorated social rights groups, but also prompted initiation of a plethora of projects by various government agencies to ensure security to women.
Notably, the wave of protest demonstration in the national Capital forced government to take up initiatives such as trial in fast track courts, reform in transportation, installation of streetlights, but many of them remained only on papers. As a result, there is no let-up in the cases of sexual assault against women. Still streetlights are evasive in several places; transportation woos continue and attitude towards women remains same.
Women who travel in late hours in night are still deprived of a decent transport facility. "Ladies Special" which was begun for women safety has now become a history. Taking an auto during night hours or even late evening hours is a nightmarish experience for women.
Delhi has 2 lakh passenger vehicles including DTC, cluster buses, school buses, chartered buses, maxi cab, RTV mini buses, phat phat sewa passenger sharing auto, eco friendly passenger sharing auto, Grameen sewa sharing auto, taxi , radio taxi, NCR permit taxi, school vans and call centre cabs which are operated by 2 lakh drivers. Soon after the incident, the transport department was directed to provide Public Service Vehicle (PSV) badges for all drivers. The badge was supposed to include the details of driver including name, address, phone number and all important details. The transport department made it mandatory but this too failed to materialise properly.
"We want to make PSV badges but transport department creates problems with the documents. Despite having documents, the officials ask for Delhi’s license. How can a person carry two licenses? If we have license from my home state, why will I get another licence from Delhi. And when we do not get PSV badge, the traffic police slaps the challan," said Rajendra, a driver.
In addition, tinted glasses in vehicles were also removed and several drives by the traffic police begun but to no avail as everything again came back to square one. Further, as capital failed to get adequate DTC and cluster buses, private buses continue to ply without norms. Homeguards were also said to be deployed but they too seem to be missing from the buses. Also, many women said that a single homeguard without any weapon won’t able to handle such situations.
Before elections, all parties such as BJP and AAP made women security as an issue for election and took it on the top of their manifestos. But with no government formed yet, things are in limbo.