India is one of the fastest growing countries in the world in terms of infrastructure and economy. The crime rate has also grown in last two decades. The National Crime Records Bureau reported in 1998 that the growth rate of crimes against women would be higher than the population growth rate in the coming years. Various reports say that the most unsafe cities in India are Delhi-NCR, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata. This is not only unfortunate but is also alarming that developed cities witness more crimes against women.
Violence or crime against women in Delhi is a national issue. The safety and security of women is the collective responsibility of the society.
But why is Delhi unsafe?
The capital has very poor urban environment—badly lighted streets, derelict parks and empty lots, badly maintained public spaces, inadequate signposts, lack of public toilets, unsafe subway. Therefore, the safety and security of women has many dimensions and we have to handle it jointly. Some of the sector specific measures are as follows:
Be vigilant and aware and keep important numbers handy.
There must be regular discussions about the crimes that happen in the community and share information with Resident Welfare Associations and social leaders in slum areas.
An introduction of community policing system and more patrolling in the sensitive areas is required along with safe public transportation system. Construction of wide roads, adequate lighting are required.
I believe a more accountable police, gender-friendly environment and responsible people will improve women safety.
The writer is the head of Centre for Social Research