Tag Archives: harassment

Ladies Only, A National Challenge

 

women-only-3

 

A nation’s law and order situation can be gauged by the existence of exclusive ‘women’s-only’ compartments in trains. When a country creates reserved spaces for women in its public spaces including trains, it indicates its empathy and sincerity towards ensuring safety of women. But it is also a symptom of its inability to provide 100% security to half of its population and a toothless judicial system.

Take Delhi as an example. Delhi Metro began running its classy, air-conditioned trains in 2002 with general compartments. Four years later, in 2006, DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) was forced to reserve one compartment exclusively in all metro trains at all times when it became clear that the twin problems of groping and women’s molestation were so rampant that they could not be controlled through punitive action alone. Ever since then, Delhi Metro has turned into the safest and the most civilized space in Delhi. Women can travel in other compartments too in these trains, but men can’t travel in the ladies-only compartments. This rule is implemented very strictly and has been made a legal offense.

During Commonwealth Games in 2014, I got the chance to interact with a European woman in a Delhi Metro train. She was amused to find so many woman gathered together at one place. “Very unusual in my country,” she remarked.

Countries like Israel, Japan, India, Egypt, Iran, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Phillipines, Malaysia, and UAE also have ladies-only compartments in their trains. But Singapore, which is famous for its exemplary standards in discipline, cleanliness, and orderliness in public spaces, has no ladies-only compartment in its MRT!

This proves what I am trying to say through this article, which is, that women-only spaces are needed only when law and order situation is not under control.

One Singaporean blogger ( (http://this-is-not-a-blog-.blogspot.in/2006/03/woman-only-train-compartments-in.html) concluded his article on this topic with “Woman only trains? Go to another country if you want them.“

Here’s another pic from inside a ladies compartment of the Delhi Metro.

 

metro women.png

Advertisements

A Brave Soldier

 

Exif_JPEG_420

 

The Indian Government recently took several anti-pollution measures in Delhi including banning of large diesel cars with engine capacities above 2000 cc and increasing taxes. Whether Delhi’s pollution levels will come down in future because of these steps remains to be seen. But they have thrown the automobile industry into a deep sea of depression and despondency.

A lot of fresh and ongoing projects have been put on hold and new hiring has stopped.  Growth seems to have come to a stand-still and employee benefits are being doled out in a very miserly manner. Senior managers are often compelled to be harsh with their subordinates.

If you turn to your mentors in the Indian automobile industry today for career advice, this is what you might hear, “Just stick fast to whatever job  you’ve got because you may not find another very soon. Even if you do, the new environment could be much worse and you may soon have to move on again.”

It is in this kind of a sad and gloomy atmosphere that a new car dealership is coming up just next door to mine where I work in Delhi (see pic above). This photo was clicked through a glass window of my office which overlooks this place. While their earthmoving machines go about bulldozing and pounding away the building material, our building also vibrates in sync. Sometimes the tables, chairs, and the cabin walls shake so badly that it feels like an earthquake. But no one is complaining. It seems to be a defiant act of great courage on the part of the owner and fills a lot of unhappy and disgruntled hearts with hopes for a better future. The opening of a new dealership next door holds great promise of new jobs and better salaries for many without extra travelling.

The construction activity outside appears to be going on at a very fast pace. I heard recently from a reliable source that it’s going to be a Toyota workshop and they are planning to start their operations by Diwali (30 October 2016)…

Well, let’s keep our fingers crossed and see what the future holds….

Jasbir Chatterjee

24 June 2016