Why women commuters in Metro don't want to travel at night

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Why women commuters in Metro don't want to travel at night

Women share their stories of eve-teasing outside Metro stations

Why women commuters in Metro don't want to travel at night

Dwarka: Three days ago, I shared my story of eve-teasing outside Sector 10 Metro station and how unsafe I felt outside the Metro station. The incident shook me to the core and then I decided to bring it to light. I took to Twitter to share my story. On July 3, I raised the issue through a tweet but to my dismay, I did not get any response from any officials.

The Metro station's entrance and the surrounding roads do not have proper lighting. The dimly-lit roads make it unsafe for all commuters. CitySpidey talked to women commuters who have faced eve-teasing and harassment outside such Metro stations.

Ritika Yadav, a commuter from Chattarpur, said that she does not ride in the Metro on her way back home as she feels it is unsafe. “The area outside Chattarpur Metro station is deserted after 9 pm. Even e-rickshaws and auto rickshaws stop operating after 8.30 pm. The road is unsafe as drunk men start roaming the streets. Whenever I commute by Metro, I call my husband to pick me up.”

“Outside the Sector 12 Metro station in Dwarka, we have to ride a cycle-rickshaw or an auto rickshaw to reach the main road, which is at least 15 minutes away from the residential area. The stretch is poorly-lit and gets deserted after 9 pm,” said Nitya Kakkar, a commuter from Dwarka.

CitySpidey also spoke to a lady waiting for her brother to pick her up at the Jangpura Metro station. She was initially hesitant but later shared her concerns after her brother arrived. “It is nearly impossible to find an auto in this area after 8 pm. I don’t feel safe taking a cycle-rickshaw as several snatching and eve-teasing incidents have been reported in this area. On my way home from work, I reach the Jangpura Metro station at 8 pm. I always call my brother to pick me up,” she said.

Shreya Das, a commuter from Sector 12 in Dwarka said, “I used to deboard at the Dwarka Sector 12 Metro station between 8 and 9 pm. Earlier, I used to walk home from there, which took 15-20 minutes. However, I had to give up walking as some random cabs started following me on dimly-lit roads every night. Taking a rickshaw seemed to be the wiser thing to do. However, even the rickshaw pullers are drunk at that hour and some even abuse and haggle over money. So, apart from some days when someone in my family picks me up, I have no option but to find a rickshaw-puller who looks the least drunk.”

Archita Bharadwaj, a commuter from Kailash Colony said, “Last month, I deboarded at Kailash Colony Metro station at 9 pm. It is the nearest Metro station to Sant Nagar area where I have been residing for the last six years. I didn't take a rickshaw as I wanted to walk. The stretch from the Metro station to the National Heart Institute crossing has many dark spots. I sensed two men following me in a car. I was scared but tried not to show it. I tried calling for help but could not. I turned around to see that the car was still tailing me. I started walking faster and finally reached a spot where there was sufficient light. It was then that those men stopped following me."

Some women commuters, given the inadequate security, have given up their usual travel routes and have opted to take alternate longer routes. Tabassum, a postgraduate student at Jamia Millia Islamia, expressed her concerns over the inadequate lighting near Jama Masjid Metro station.

She said, “I generally exit from gate 2 of the Jama Masjid Metro station, but at odd hours due to inadequate lighting and deserted roads, it becomes a place to drink alcohol for many people. Many incidents of harassment, robbery and molestation have been reported from the area. For my safety, I now exit from the Chawri Bazar Metro station and take a rickshaw from there. It’s really scary to exit from the Jama Masjid Metro station.”

Nothing seems to have changed since the Delhi Police conducted a security audit of Metro stations two years ago. The audit said that one-third of the Metro stations were unsafe, particularly for women.