Who can forget the shocking gang rape of a 22-year-old photojournalist at Shakti Mills in 2013. After which the place had become unsafe for women. Now, the city’s civic body is planning to make it a safer place. Along with wider road, better lighting, art projects, and pedestrian-friendly surroundings, it will be made accessible for everyone.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • After the shocking gang rape of a 22-year-old photojournalist at Shakti Mills in 2013, people especially women were reluctant to take the lane after dark. 
  • The city’s civic body is planning to make it a safer place.
  • A joint collaboration of  Mumbai Commission for Arts, Music and Culture recently (MCAMC),  Akshara Centre, a women’s rights organisation and G5a Foundation for Contemporary Culture is aimed to associate the road with better memories.
  • The initiative aims to improve the road and lighting in the area. Street furniture, better signages and art projects will also be included among other things.

After the Shakti Mills 2013 incident people were reluctant to go there at night. Hoping to bring about a change, two NGOs have come together with a proposal to make it more people friendly and safe. This proposal was approved by the Mumbai Commission for Arts, Music and Culture recently (MCAMC).

After the Shakti Mills 2013 incident people were reluctant to go there at night. Hoping to bring about a change, two NGOs have come together with a proposal to make it more people friendly and safe. This proposal was approved by the Mumbai Commission for Arts, Music and Culture recently (MCAMC).

The joint collaboration of Akshara Centre, a women’s rights organisation and G5a Foundation for Contemporary Culture aimed to associate the road with better memories. The proposal was accepted by MCAMC on August 29. The implementation will take at least six months and will begin after the Ganpati festival.

If successful, MCAMC will consider other places in the city which are deemed unsafe for women. Arzan Khambata, on behalf the MCAMC, told the Mid-Day that the idea has been approved by the commission with a few minor changes. “Any place which is brightly lit immediately appears safer and will dissuade miscreants from hanging around.” he said.

Read Also: Delhi Police finds 165 unsafe spots for women, increases surveillance

What the collaborators have to say about the project

Nandita Shah, Co-Director of Akshara Centre said that they have been working to make the city more inclusive and safe for women. This initiative will improve the road and lighting in the area. Street furniture, better signages and art projects will also be included among other things.

Anuradha Parikh, Founder and Creative Director of G5A Foundation mentioned that the concept was titled ‘Reclaiming Shakti’ which had came up after the incident occurred. Parikh points out that currently, the road is not lit and has been encroached by anti-social elements which scare women from using the road after dark. “The idea focuses on various aspects including creating pavements and putting up a number of street lights. The signage is currently putting up on the walls of Shakti Mills in an utterly haphazard manner. We will remove these, clean up the walls, which are stunning and move the signages to the lampposts,” she said.

The project will include art work around themes of equality, gender, safety and more. They are also planning to have a few more vendors to encourage people to use the road.

Additionally, they will request the owners of complexes in the area to replace solid walls with grills to open up the barriers. The project will include art work around themes of equality, gender, safety and more. They are also planning to have a few more vendors to encourage people to use the road.

Parikh said that the objective of the project is to create an effect which encourages citizens to take up initiatives in other parts of the city. Around 2,000 employees work in the area around Shakti Mills and approximately 300 people pass through the Shakti Mills Lane on a daily basis.

Also read: Will A Sexual Offenders Registry Make India A Safer Place?

Image credit: Livemint

Saumya Rastogi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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