What happened in Bangalore on 31st night was not only terrifying but a sudden awaking that the tech city is afterall not safe for women. It is telling that a city that has been a great melting point of people from around the world, donned the name Silicon Valley of India and being marshalling the rise of young professionals – today it’s this.
The New Year eve turned out to be horrifying women were reportedly molested, turned into targets of lewd comments and much more, this on the most popular areas of the city.We asked women from the city to voice their opinion about safety standards in Bangalore. Aparna Ponnappa of REDD Network criticizes the government for planning hard on the ‘steel flyover‘ but ignoring the basic precautions the city women need. “Is the steel flyover a priority today or the fundamental safety of our women?” Aparna asked. This is an all steel 6 lane bridge that has become controversial in the city thanks to its massive cost of Rs 1800 cr and poor environment impact.
There is no fear in the minds of people committing crimes, assault or eve teasing as there is no definition of when and why should a person being picked up – Archana Singh, Bangalore
Aparna Ponnappa further added, “Bangalore’s administrators neither have the skill nor will to make this a world-class city. Sad that our taxpayers money is being spent on KJ George a minister for Bengaluru Development, Padmavathi who is our mayor and their offices but they are not being held accountable or taking responsibility for safety. KJ George, who is known to be associated with the embassy group seems to be able to manage the law, order, cleanliness and discipline within the tech parks and residential complexes but seems challenged to extend the same world class privileges to the city he has sworn to serve. Sad.”Reshma Krishnamurthy, Founder of Mums And Stories says, “Based on what I have read in news reports, it’s sad. The pictures too don’t portray a good vibe. Women, mums and kids their safety is always taken for granted and even in 2017, it is sad that we cannot promise a society that treats women as individuals and not as objects. This is regardless whether it would be a New Year night or any occasion.”
“This incident in Bangalore proves yet again that it’s not a matter of which city we stay in – Delhi or Bangalore or any other. The mindset of men will always be to exploit or shame or use molestation as a tool and excuse to retain their sense of power over women. Extremely shameful to see this kind of incident happening,” says entrepreneur Simran Oberoi, Founder & Chief Baker – Ovenderful.
Malini Gowrishankar of F5 Escapes that focusses on all women travel sees the city slipping but hopes its citizens will keep alive possibilities of improvement. “Very sad incident indeed. While we at F5 wish for better public spaces for women, the current state of affairs still makes us give out guidelines for women to stay safe, which we really want to see, change in the years to come. Educating the population on sexual crimes and controls on binge drinking are the need of the hour- without that, even 10000 policemen wouldn’t be sufficient for the kind of population we have. Girls, please ensure your own safety by partying with friends and family, try avoiding open streets where anyone and everyone can come. If you are planning to drink, ensure there are good friends or family around you and that you are not
surrounded by a big bunch of strangers. Closed spaces such as hotels, pubs etc. Are relatively safer than crowded streets for new year scenarios.”
I personally feel that our law enforcement is not strong -Archana Singh, Bangalore
Archana Singh, the founder of 7th Sin, Asia’s very first all-women food truck told us, “I personally feel that our law enforcement is not strong. There is no fear in the minds of people committing crimes, assault or eve teasing as there is no definition of when and why should a person being picked up. When a man passes a lewd remark it is ‘enough’ for him to be picked up. Why were the cops waiting for things to get so out of hand when they should have had a van waiting picked up the assaulters and not waited for someone to file a complaint. Being a woman myself and employing women for empowerment to be confident and face the world this is very discouraging that this happens at home. What is the meaning of it going the Delhi way? It is as bad if any woman anywhere is assaulted or objectified in our country.”
Shantala Bhat, Co-Founder of Gamatics says it’s better to work on self defence and not depend on government authorities. “I know I may sound little off track… But I want to say this — Time to learn self-protection techniques and practice real time!”