Let me raise the woman safety issue in India in this article.
Is India a safe country for women? Or is it a country full of rapists lurking around the corner?
I see many people raising this question of late. Some of them are genuinely bothered by the women safety issue and want Indians to explain while there is a tiny minority that is always trying to push India and the Indians in a corner.
Without sounding moralistic, I shall try to give my story, my perspective and my opinion about the woman safety issue in India
For those of you who don’t know, I am a travel professional who takes travelers on Delhi trips. Lately, I have taken up a job to supplement my earnings but in the core of my heart, I am a travel guy.
Thanks to my parents, I am a well-traveled guy so I have observed many parts of the country from a close distance.
And based on my experience, let me say this- women can’t feel safer anywhere in the world than in India.
I have seen with my own eyes, young Lucknow girls climbing into the autos at 4 am in the morning to reach their destinations. At that unearthly hour, the streets are deserted and only the dogs are awake. You can’t find a better example of woman safety than this one.
I used to commute between Lucknow and Allahabad on Mondays and Fridays and so gathered my experience. To catch my bus, I had to first take an auto at the crack of the dawn. You could see ladies waiting on deserted roads for their autos. Indeed, a heartening sight!
My second example has got to be about Chhattisgarh.
This God’s Own Country is quite remote in the country. Very few people know about it and those who know Chhattisgarh consider it to be a dangerous place.
That’s all bull-poop.
I have seen girls of this state drive, and walk alone in dense jungles without a soul in sight!
Yes, you read it right, alone in dense jungles!
Of course, no one talks about it because a) people do not know about Chhattisgarh b) it doesn’t suit the narrative of the nay-sayers. For this latter category of people, India remains a land of lurking rapists.
And let me know those jungles of Chhattisgarh have wild animals, and dangerous terrorists also called Naxals.
So there, now what do you have to say about this? Would you still call India a dangerous place for women?
Now let me come to more recent times.
As a travel professional, I often escort my clients in and around Delhi. And, most of my travelers are women.
And let me also tell you this- in many cases, my women travelers come alone and do not mind traveling me to isolated and secluded places.
Some of these solo woman travelers are foreigners and are new to India. A couple of them like Sonia Gawron from Chicago and Kathie from Germany did not find Delhi to be an unsafe place at all!
In the case of Sonia, she actually wanted me to take her to the Mehrauli Archaeological Park in Delhi. This Park is quite a deserted area and has some forests inside.
So I was genuinely surprised at getting this request from a lady I had never met and for whom India was a big mystery.
If you are a woman reading this, you would understand me quite clearly.
Another lady who ventured out with me is Katherina of Germany. India was a totally a new place for Kathie and I an utter stranger. So, why did she risk going out with me to the abandoned walls of Lalkot?
The answer is TRUST. Deep down, travelers regard India as a safe place, much safer than the United States or the European nations.
I am not trivializing the woman safety issue in India by just quoting my personal examples, but I do have to put out my version, isn’t it?
As a country and society, we are all the time making our roads, cities, and other public places safer for not just women, but also the kids. We are aware of the risks and dangers that women are exposed to but at the same time take pride in being one of the most woman friendly countries on the earth.