Eve-teasing, molestation of North-East women common in metros: Survey

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 26 2014, 19:18pm hrs
Eve-teasing, molestation and harassment by young men and over-charging by autorickshaw and taxi drivers are some of the most common problems faced by women from the northeastern states in the four cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore, a survey has found.

According to the survey conducted by the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research, 27 per cent women complained about over-charging by taxi and autorickshaw drivers while 26 per cent complained about molestation or eve teasing.

The survey, which was sponsored by the National Commission for Women, found that 27 per cent of the respondents had faced verbal abuse for being mistakenly identified as foreigners.

Besides, while 14 per cent said that shopkeepers often overcharged them, 16 per cent complained that landlords asked them "uncomfortable" questions about their lifestyles, work, food and native place.

Four per cent of the women said they were declined tenancy as they belonged to the Northeast and 3 per cent stated that they had faced harassment on the streets by young men.

The survey covered over 300 respondents, including landlords, teachers, lawyers, police and social activists.

It found that migrant women were especially vulnerable to deprivation, hardships, discrimination and abuse, and that such cases were 30 per cent more pronounced vis-a-vis women from the Northeast.

However, the survey found that despite the discrimination, 44 per cent of the respondents would still encourage their friends and relatives to migrate to the metro cities as these held better opportunities for both education and work.

Also, 41 per cent of the respondents were not thinking of returning to their states although 33 per cent said that they would do so if they got good job opportunities back home.

Only 17 per cent averred that they would caution their relatives and friends against migrating to the metros.

Finding rented accommodation emerged as another problem in Bangalore with 38 per cent of the women facing difficulties, although in Delhi only 19 per cent had this problem.

Overcharging of rent by landlords is a common problem faced by women from the Northeast in Kolkata, the survey found.

However, some landlords did view the northeasterners in a favourable light, saying that they took care of the lodgings and were clean, pleasant and honest.

The study said the respondents appeared unaware and unsure of the legal system with little or no knowledge of laws like Prevention of Atrocities Against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act, and held a mistrust for the police.

A big majority of 80 per cent of the victims chose not to report incidents of harassment to police while the small number that did approach them said they were not satisfied with the response.

The findings of the survey were presented at a workshop at the Centre last week and was attended by over 40 young scholars and teachers from Delhi University and Jamia Millia Islamia along with NCW representatives and social activists.