New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday sought to steer away from the claims of a survey which said that women in the city felt unsafe due to infrastructural flaws like dark stretches of streets, narrow roads, and a public transport system with negligible security.
A survey by state Women and Child Welfare found that public transportation and roadsides are to blame for the overwhelming majority of harassment and assault reports filed by women. Women in the survey said that lack of proper law enforcement, poor lighting and overcrowded public transportation are the major loopholes that make them feel insecure when out of the confines of their homes.
But CM Sheila Dikshit quickly came out in defence of the city and negated the findings of the survey, saying it was not the infrastructure but the people who came from outside the city who are the main culprits.
“The main problem is in the mentality of the people. 90-95% of the harassment and assault cases on women take place inside their homes. The same people come out on roads and commit the same crimes. What is needed is a change in the mentality,” said Dikshit.
According to the survey, women said that unlit stretches of roads were one of the major reasons that have made commuting one of the herculean tasks for them.
But denying this squarely, Dikshit said that there was no problem with Delhi’s infrastructure and that “Delhi glitters”.
Delhi has retained its notoriety for being a dangerous city for women with the count of eve-teasing, harassment and rape cases not budging.
Another survey by a UN agency, UNIFEM too added to the city’s infamy when it said that 70% of men find it safer to ignore the crimes against women, unlike Mumbai which is known for huge-heartedness of Mumbaikars with recent examples of Ruben and Keenan who got martyred while resisting the assault against two girls.
Adding to the shame is the fact that last year 66% women had reported the cases of harassment. And this is just the statistics. The real numbers may be even more shocking. The survey also found out that 44% women cannot exercise their will while dressing themselves for Delhi roads. So much of restraint in a city that’s otherwise so hi-tech, points towards the callousness of a government that always comes up with excuses to defend its shooting crime rate.