College is often a foray into many new experiences, a lot of which involves the night life. The glamorous ideal of Delhi clubbing, parking lots filled with fancy G-wagons, tons of booze, popping DJ sets has often attracted many young students, looking to enjoy the first dregs of freedom associated with university. However, behind the glitz, many realize that the city that never sleeps doesn’t always have to offer the best experiences once the sun sets.
Clubs are inherently unsafe for many, especially women. Dingy lighting, crowds of strange men, all under the influence of alcohol, and usually heavily intoxicated, spell disaster for several young students. Almost all young women have faced some degree of assault at clubs, from something as easily brushed off as cat-calling, to serious cases of assault.
My first few experiences in Delhi clubs hadn’t been the worst, somehow I had warded off creepy stares or unwanted gropes, but a few months into having moved to the city, I ended up at Ansal Plaza, a place frequented by DU students looking to party. This changed the false sense of security I had gained over the past few months. I suddenly felt suffocated and unsafe, I could feel the stare of random men. I ended up leaving in 30 minutes. Since then, I became more wary of the situations I put myself in. However, I now have a deep seated fear, one that usually gets me whilst traveling back in Ubers late at night, at how women often lose out on the joy of many experiences, because of the sense of endangerment created for them.
Other female students have had similar experiences,
There have been several times when I have been stared at or groped, in many of the supposedly elite clubs in the city. But I guess these are just the things that come with being a girl, and don’t deter me from having my fun” – Siona Arora, B.A. Programme, Kamala Nehru College
But the issue runs deeper than just personal experiences, incidents like drink spiking run rampant across clubs in general, where women usually account for more than half of the visitors. Articles like this one suggest measures like, regulated security personnel, more female security members, checking men for drugs and a general no-tolerance policy towards drug use in clubs.
Adding to this, several unaware college students, many of whom hail from non-urban areas in India and are unfamiliar with the workings of the city, its various areas or clubs in general, are especially vulnerable to being exploited in such scenarios. Being charged extra money to enter into “exclusive events”, women being forced to couple up with often strange men to enter into clubs, commuting late at night in cabs through unknown roads or routes etc. can all ruin youngsters’ attempts to just have a good night.
Image Credits – Getty Images