Six years of Nirbhaya case: Change is there, but nowhere close to enough

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New Delhi | Published: December 17, 2018 4:17 AM

The sixth anniversary of the Nirbhaya rape is here, and Delhi seems to be still far from having the CCTV coverage—camera surveillance which will make rapes like the Nirbhaya one become less likely.

security of women, women safetyVery little seems to be moving in terms of urban infrastructure and administration that enables safety and security of women.

The sixth anniversary of the Nirbhaya rape is here, and Delhi seems to be still far from having the CCTV coverage—camera surveillance which will make rapes like the Nirbhaya one become less likely. The Delhi High Court has directed the state government and the Delhi Police to adhere to their respective deadlines on fixing CCTV cameras, one amongst a slew of initiatives, including improved street-lighting, all-female police units, to ensure safety of women. However, very little seems to be moving in terms of urban infrastructure and administration that enables safety and security of women.

There have been some efforts to improve the safety of last-mile commute and transport; Pune and Mumbai, for instance, have invested in solutions like women-only buses and autorickshaws. There have been a number of launches of government-funded apps and helplines for women in some states. Further, some cities have rolled out GPS tracking for autorickshaw and private cab drivers. But, these efforts do little to change the entrenched gender-based violence and discrimination in the society. Efforts to educate citizens on gender, violence and equality need to be made so that the desired change in behaviour can be brought about. To this end, many state governments have launched sensitisation and safety training programmes for police officers, and the CBSE has designed a student learning kit on gender sensitivity. Only when such reforms are furthered and implemented well will the continued violence against women get curtailed.

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