Women Safety


In a recent press release, the University of Delhi (DU) released out a statement condemning the sexual harassment that occurred during Gargi College’s annual cultural fest, Reverie. 

In a recent press release dated 12th February 2020, the University of Delhi released an official statement condemning the sexual harassment that occurred during the college’s annual festival Reverie on 6th February 2020 and standing with the female students and employees of Gargi College in their fight against the incident. In the statement signed by the University’s Registrar, Professor Tarun Kumar Das said, “The University strongly condemned the hooliganism, trespassing and any other incident that violated the modesty of the students, and appealed to the law enforcement agencies to take strong action against the culprits.”

In the statement, the University claims that it sought action taken report from the Principal of Gargi College as soon as it heard the news regarding the incident, with the University’s Proctor meeting with Police personnel and requesting them to deploy policemen at the gates of every college on 11th February 2020. The Proctor also allegedly met with the Deputy Commissioner of the Police (North) and the Dean Students Welfare and Presiding Officer (ICC) of the University on 12th February 2020 at 3 pm to discuss the measures that were to be taken regarding the matter immediately.

The University insists that it is doing everything to harbour a sense of safety amongst students and ensure safe and secure academic campuses for the university and is at a constant vigil for the same. The University had also issued an advisory for all colleges and institutions associated with DU concerning the safety and security of its female students and employees on 10th December 2019 and had constituted a Committee on Women Safety and Security to strengthen the safety and security of female students and employees on 15th January 2020.

“The University reiterates its resolve time continue to work towards ensuring a safe and secure college life for female students in particular. The University appeals to all to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of our female students and employees and respect their dignity,” the press release stated.

Students of Gargi College, University of Delhi, experiences hooliganism, trespassing, and sexual harassment during their annual festival Reverie that took place on 6th February 2020, due to poor administration and lack of proper security. Students of Gargi College have been observing dissent demonstrations against the act, and the College and established a Fact-Finding committee to find evidence and information for reporting it to official personnel. Student and teacher organisations of the university- Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU), Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthu Parishad (ABVP), National Students’ Union of India (NSUI)- have condemned the incident and held demonstrations across the campus in support of the female students and employees of Gargi College.


Feature Image Credits: Sanyukta Singh

Shreya Juyal

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TW: Rape

Many questions have arisen regarding the free metro and bus rides for women proposed by the Delhi Government. Read further to know more about another side of this coin.

About 5 months ago, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Government proposed a scheme providing free metro and bus ride for women in Delhi. On 26th August, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia presented a grant of Rs 290 crore in the Legislative Assembly during the monsoon session for this ‘free ride’ schemes. Out of Rs 290 crore, Rs 140 crores was allocated for DTC, and cluster buses and Rs 150 crore for Delhi metro.

“Public transport is considered the safest for women and keeping that in mind, the Government had decided that all buses and the metro rides will be made free for women,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, said. He also added that those who are willing to pay for the tickets would be free to do so. There are many women who can afford these transports and must refrain from taking the subsidy. This is to ensure that those who genuinely require this scheme may best benefit from it.

However, both men and women have questioned the true intentions behind this scheme. Though the scheme may sound appealing to many women, it does bring about the debate on gender equality and the question as to where to draw the line. “With all due respect, women in Delhi didn’t ask for a free pass to ride when they voted for Kejriwal Ji, they had voted for the safe environment promised to them,” Priyanka Chaturvedi, a National Spokesperson, wrote on Twitter.

She further argued in another tweet saying, “Hate to remind this, but Nirbhaya was gang-raped in a bus in Delhi. At that time the country didn’t protest over free rides for the women but for making the capital safe for its women to be able to take a bus or metro at any time of the day. Get your priorities right!”

“What is worse, once concession is given to one section of commuters, immediate demands will arise from more deserving sections, such as students, the handicapped, and senior citizens. The disease will spread fast to all other metros in the country, making them dependent on state governments for subsidies,” E. Sreedhan, more commonly known as Metro Man, wrote in a letter to PM Narendra Modi, requesting not to agree to the proposal as it would set “an alarming precedence”.

“The argument of the Delhi government—that it will reimburse the revenue losses to the DMRC—is a poor solace. The amount involved is about Rs. 1,000 crore per annum today. This will go on increasing as the metro network expands and with further fare hikes,” Sreedharan added.

The scheme also faced a whole lot of criticism regarding issues like overcrowding and a probable drop in the quality of services due to the erosion of DMRC funds. Instead of cutting water and power bills, Kejriwal proposed free metro to women, out of whom may well be able to afford the already-cheap mode of transport. Instead of improving security infrastructure and uplifting women’s safety, the government appears to be offering unnecessary expenses to be added to the State List.

Despite the probable “good” intentions of the Delhi Government, free metro and bus rides for women doesn’t seem to be the most viable proposal in theory or in action.


Feature Image Credits: Hitesh Kalra for DU Beat

Aditi Gutgutia

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The Delhi Government, on Saturday, has sanctioned to desist the ‘odd-even’ car rationing scheme in light of the NGT poser regarding the rationale behind the decision. The policy was earlier announced for November 13 to 17 with the intent of depurating the smog-filled air in the city. A crisis situation emerged when the levels of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 and PM 10 entered the severe category. The government declared that schools must be shut down and the people were suggested to wear N95 masks as protection against toxic Delhi smog.

While stubble burning in neighbouring states and fire-crackers have been traced as the primary contributor to the dangerous levels of air pollution in the city, yet they are not the only contributor to the distress of Delhiites. Despite several warnings of worsening air quality before winter, the municipalities turned a blind eye to pollution caused by open burning of waste, and improper disposal of construction and demolition waste. This year, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) did not issue a single fine for open burning of waste. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation, meanwhile, fined only 10 people.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) pulled up the Delhi government for failing to act for the entire year until the air quality deteriorated to the extreme levels. “You tell us what is the purpose of implementing Odd-Even again? It seems you just want to reduce vehicles from roads” the court said noting the long list of exceptions. The Central Pollution Control Board has told the Green Court that two-wheelers cause more pollution compared to four-wheelers. Questioning the end result of banning cars when millions of two-wheelers are left unregulated. The court said, “If you are removing 500 cars from roads and allowing 1,000 two-wheelers, what purpose will it serve?” The court further remarked that the exemption from the Odd-Even scheme will be granted only to the CNG vehicle and emergency services such as ambulance and fire service while, earlier, this exemption pertained to women, two-wheelers and VVIPs.
Responsively, the Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot stated that ‘the Delhi Government could not compromise on the safety of women.’ He also accepted the fact that Delhi Government did not have enough public transport alternatives to accommodate over 60 lakh two-wheeler riders.’ Though the scheme has been called off, for now, the government may appeal for a review in the Green Court on Monday, to allow the car rationing policy with the previously practised exemptions.

Recently, the Delhi government’s had also decided to allow free travel for commuters in all DTC and cluster buses between November 13 and November 17, when the odd-even scheme was proposed to be implemented. This was done in order to encourage the use of public transport. It is unclear, now, whether such a decision will be implemented even after the suspension of the odd-even policy.

Experts, however, said there was a need for a long-term plan to reduce emissions. The Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) has issued a ‘Comprehensive Action Plan for Air Pollution Control in Delhi & NCR’ that enlists a combination of short, medium and long-term action for each source of pollution and indicates agencies responsible for implementation. A member of the EPCA and the director-general of the Centre for Science and Environment, Sunita Narain, said if the long-term measures already identified and suggested by the EPCA are not implemented, “air quality cannot improve”.

Image Credits: Hindustan Times

Varoon Tuteja

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