The NSS students of the Mumbai University, along with an NGO called Akshara and BEST transports, started a campaign for women’s safety yesterday on 27th November. The project is called ‘Making Mumbai Public Transport Safe for Women and Girls’ and saw over 200 students spreading out across the city to take their drive to 47 bus stops. The campaign will be held till the 9th of December.
In a survey conducted two years ago by the NGO, it was revealed that 47% women were mostly harassed on BEST buses. The participating students asked and shared their personal experiences on the buses with the local commuters and even distributed bookmarks that had phone numbers of helplines that would help them in those situations.
[Picture Courtesy: Survival of the optimist]
The women were also asked to fill in a questionnaire inquiring about how and if, they, or anyone else they knew faced harassment, and how they dealt with it. One of the members of Akshara, Urmila Salunkhe, who was present at the CST bus stop, told Times of India. “There was nobody who responded negatively and women shared their experiences willingly. Some of the students also travelled by buses, interacting with passengers.”
The co-director, NGO Akshara, Nandita Shah stated “We also asked people to sign a safety pledge, hoping that citizens will be more aware and strive to make the city a safer place for women in 2015. On our bookmarks, we have given out the helplines. We also told them about the online portals such as www.harassmap-mumbai.org where they anonymously lodge a complaint.”