Getting into a BMTC bus is a risk a woman takes everyday, claimed the members of the Bangalore Bus Prayaanikara Vedike.
They said this while holding a protest against sexual harassment of women in BMTC buses held at K R Market here on Monday.
Two out of every three women who travel in BMTC buses face regular violence from co-passengers, conductors and drivers. In a survey conducted in last year with 2,647 women in the city, 1,803 cases of harassment in buses were reported. Of the women surveyed, 69 per cent reported sexual harassment, vulgar language, staring in a lecherous fashion, touching and grabbing, indecent exposure, stalking and photographing or shooting videos without consent, they claimed.
“Walking out of offices to lodge complaints about Sexual harassment doesn’t make any sense, when women undergo harassment in moving buses. We need a solution right then and there,” Shakun from the Vimochana Foundation said.
Sexual harassment of women cannot be brushed under the carpet for long. Women are also victimised at bus stops. We don’t need safety, but freedom, Shakun mentioned. “I am in Bangalore since a month, I have had bad experiences in BMTC buses,” Marissa from Holland said.
“When I was harassed, I was shocked and confused whether to address the issue or keep it to myself. Often I requested co-passengers (men) not to trouble me, that was the least I could do,” she explained. “Neither the driver nor the conductor, co-passengers or the police seem to think that women are entitled to a harassment-free ride in a bus,” Vinay of Alternative Law Forum said.
The campaign aims to reach this silent majority,he added.