WOMEN’S SAFETY FEARS IN INDIAN BUSES TACKLED BY SAFETY FEATURES
The first bus of its kind hit the streets of the Indian capital New Delhi recently. The installment of two CCTV cameras, a GPS tracking system and an emergency button are part of an initiative to help women in distress on public transport systems following the brutal gang rape of a paramedical student on a bus in New Delhi in 2012.
The government has made it mandatory for all buses in the country to have tracking devices, CCTV’s, and panic buttons that will connect to the nearest police stations.
Rajasthan Transport Minister Yunus Khan said more than 2,000 buses in the state are being equipped with these features.
To increase security for women, the Delhi government has started deploying marshals on some city buses in recent months. Women complain of not just physical assaults, but also verbal harassment, called "eve teasing. "Metro trains set aside “Women’s Only” coaches that are highly popular. There is also a toll free helpline for women.
India continues to grapple with the problem of sexual abuse. Thirty-seven thousand cases of rape were reported in 2014, nearly 10 percent higher than the previous year.
India has also asked phone manufacturers to install a panic button on all mobiles sold in the country, starting next year, so that pressing the number 5 or 9 will trigger an emergency call.