Precautions to take when travelling in cities by bus, auto by women

I'm writing this article thinking about Delhi - one of most riskiest cities in India for women to travel. But this article equally applies to travel by lading in any city.

Delhi is always a place where people think twice before sending their daughters or sisters for further study/work. I have been to Delhi for two and half years and it was always the same. However the brutality which this girl has been subjected was not heard before. Just because she protested she has been treated so severely. That reflects on the whims of our society. The male is one place above the females. This is the mentality which has transformed in such a gruesome incident. One can come across this mentality in their day to day life. Starting from the mother's womb, putting up the pressure on mother either to have a male child or abort it. A woman, who is not able to produce a male child, is subjected to humiliation. The same mentality extends when a girl child is not allowed to play as her counterpart boys. She is supposed to work day and night and help their family but the boys have every right to tease her and ask her for even small works. The same mentality is seen when groom's parents expects a large sum of dowry and also expect bride's parents to bend on their knees before them. This mentality is not restricted to educated ones; it is even found in well educated families.

Girls are below us. They are not supposed to answer. They are not supposed to react. They had to accept. They are subservient. This mentality is so much imbibed by our society in male's mind-set that whole of their life; it becomes difficult for them to accept females as equal.

Turn to Delhi, this mentality of males, the economic disparity, political influence becomes a deadly combination. The skyrocketing egos of males, is unable to bear that they are behind. This is also very much true that this mentality does not restrict to Delhi but it is found in almost every part of India with varying degrees.

In disaster management strategies, there are two types of strategies. One is mitigating strategies and another one is adaptation. Mitigation strategies mean that these kinds of incidents will not take place in future. The foremost strategy will be the changing the minds et through education and awareness. But It is a long process. The stringent laws also can work as deterrent but they will not be able to give desired effect unless there execution is ensured. In most of the cases, the culprit either gets away or gets sentences which are far below the pain a girl has to bear.

Adaptation strategies can be defined in terms of those strategies which one has to keep in mind while traveling. Some of them which I had tried to follow till now, are listed below:

General Points while Traveling

Always keep in touch with your parents or friends about movement in the city and plans for today, tomorrow etc. It should not be that somebody disappears and nobody has idea why one has gone somewhere.

Whenever you feel any risk while traveling, don't forget to SMS the vehicle details like it's number, and other identification. Now a days many cell phones even contain a GPS whose reading you may want to SMS to frequently.

Always keep red chilly in a bottle

Small bottle is sufficient. Don't keep a polythene since one day it'll break and mess your purse etc.

Smell of Alcohol or Cigarette

Be alert to the smell of those drunk around you. Most who drink also smoke. There is a peculiar smell when smell of both mix.

When traveling by Bus

  1. Try to stay around open door, big window or near driver where big glass can be broken easily.
  2. One thumb rule is that a girl or anyone is comparatively safe in a group of more than 20 people rather than with small number of people.
  3. Do not stand on deserted bus stop.
  4. If you are accompanying by a male also kindly remember he alone cannot fight 3-4 people together (it happens only in movies).
  5. Always try to take bus which is at least half full during night hours.
  6. If direct bus has less frequency or less number of passengers during particular hour, take a long detour by choosing the buses, which are comparatively full.
  7. Never and never take buses with curtains/tinted windows during night hours. Even during day times, if it is not full, avoid them.
  8. If you are new to Delhi and want to take bus to a new area, always confirm bus number from at least 3-4 fellows if possible from females as well. It is best to confirm number from shops which are permanent.
  9. Ask bus numbers for a place from DTC bus driver. Do not rely on private bus operators.
  10. I will even advise females not to have blind faith in their boyfriend/ male accompanying them. Girls should have information in their hands too.
  11. Never disclose your destination point. For example, always ask bus fellow where he is going rather than revealing first your destination. If you ask your destination first, he can say he is also going on the same route. But if you ask his route and if he gives some false answers, definitely you will avoid him.

When traveling by Auto

  1. Always note down first auto number, even if the driver observes it and SMS it
  2. Better take photo of the driver( request him in the name of safety) and immediately SMS it - you may want to inform him too.

When Traveling by Taxi Alone

Before entering the taxi, take a photo of the driver and send it (along with Taxi number) to your friend or brother, sister etc. You must also inform this to the driver

Ready for the Worst: Jumping out of vehicle

Unless you've ever prepared yourself mentally about it, it'll be difficult to do it all of a sudden. In fact I suggest you practice it to some extent. At least you may take some better action rather than panicking while traveling. If the front side big glass is before you and if it can be broken, break it and scream to your life.

Fix a right location, from where to jump. The vehicle should be slow and no vehicle should be behind that of yours. The location should have enough crowd - junctions are better. So speed should be less and no vehicle is behind your vehicle. Then jump out of it SCREAMING LOUDLY.

To the Government and Companies

We need better laws and be wise in making traveling by taxi safer for ladies.

Here are my suggestions.

For Companies

  1. Driver must have at least 20 years of experience
  2. Driver's age must be at least 45 or 50. The more, the reliable he should be.
  3. Drive should be married(once only) with children and having a stable life.
  4. Driver should not smoke and drink.
  5. Have background check in the locations when he has worked in the past.
  6. Check for all legal documents and see if anything illegal found in it.
  7. Give less priority to drivers from rowdy areas( like U.P., Bihar etc).

For the Government

  1. Driver's minimum age of 50 should be made mandatory for carrying school children, people in bulk and in taxis with single woman.
  2. A small (serial) lighting(yellow, blue etc) to be lit above the taxi which should indicate ladies or children traveling alone.


Very useful app for woman's safety

Good article. In this respect, I would share with you friends one very useful Android app that you can use to be safer on roads. It has got more features than other such apps, and is easier to use.
Look here for the app:

The description is detailed and read the how to use the app section. This app gives me more confidence on road or anywhere when I am alone.

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