A wise man once said, “fundamentals don’t change” and the thought stayed with me. As I think about it today, after 10 years, I know it applies to societies, communities, countries and people.
I want to live in a safe society. It’s a fundamental need. I want to be able to walk anywhere, at any point of the day or night. Some ask me why do I want to walk alone at night on the street? I ask “why not?”
It’s important that a lady doctor has the freedom and safety required to go attend a call at any hour of the day or night. A woman working as a call centre operator should be able to decide the best way to return home from a tiring day/ night at work. It’s important for a citizen to feel safe if they choose to use public transport. It’s important for a young person, of any sexual orientation, returning from a movie, a party or a get together to feel safe if he/she wants to return home alone. The streets don’t belong to the aggressors and harassers, they belong to all of us.
If a majority of the population in a country does not have the freedom to move around, how can we talk about progress? If a majority of the population is restricted by geography, time or lives in fear of any kind, how can we expect growth?
And that brings us to the question – who can solve this? The police? The law? The politicians? We at safecity.in think it’s us – the citizens. It’s us who see it happening infront of us or the one to whom it happens.
Why us? How us? What can we do? I say why not us? What can we not do if we make up our minds?
We need to target the problem systematically and for that we need data. We need to know the exact spots of abuse and harassment. We need to look at the collective data rather than specific incidents to find the vulnerable spots and the cause that makes them vulnerable. If 50 people report that a particular bus stop or metro station is more prone to harassment, we need to look at the reason behind it and fix it. Then extrapolate and fix the larger problem.
We are currently running a survey to find the 100unsafe area in Delhi/NCR and urge you to help us record incidents you might have seen/ experienced.
Fundamentals don’t change – we all want a safe society and we have the power to make one.
Written by Saloni Malhotra – CoFounder of Safecity
Report such incidents on safecity.in with the exact location of the incident. Volunteer with safecity to clean up your specific locality/ area