The recent rape case has left the country stunned. The woman, riding with a popular taxi service across the world, Uber, falls asleep only to wake up in a secluded place and be raped by the driver.
The incident caused an outrage, especially since Uber claimed to be one of the safest taxi services. Are women just not safe in the country? Is there no solution? And is banning Uber, and other such taxi services the solution?
WSL spoke to a few ladies across various walks of life and got their opinions.
“Where administration is concerned, yes there is no passing the buck that we need to ensure how do people get clean cheats and function a company such as uber. As far as govt goes we will ensure he has been arrested, fast tracked court and he really gets the punishment that he deserves. But I think as an example in society it has to be a holistic solution which is fear of law, implementation of law, fast tracked courts and speedy justice so that these incidents do not take place in the future. As the govt’s concern we are determined to have CCTV cameras,GPS System,more women constable patrolling etc.”
– Shaina NC, BJP Leader & Social Worker
“The only thing I want to say is where is our due diligence, the carelessness with which the system looks at women’s protection. This is the example of carelessness. No matter how much we say about women’s empowerment, people wanting us right etc. Every stage we just feel, women don’t matter at all. I think we need to constantly put in message to alert women. I think somewhere some system constantly should tell us check out on this, check out on that and just institutionalise these things. Constantly keep our safety checklist, follow them. I am only saying this out of helplessness. I just feel so terrible every time we have to take the onus of everything. What to do when others are suppose to protect us, create these safety nets around,they aren’t doing it then maybe we women ourselves should just do it. Just keep reminding women.”
– Priti Patkar, Founder, NGO – Prerna
“My heart goes out to the victim.. This was a very aghori incident. As far as safety and security of women is concern,I think government and people who matter should take notice and take concrete measures.
Uber got huge funding in couple of million dollars. How are these people funded with millions of dollars where there as a company has no responsibility towards their presenters. The only responsibility is to make money. Here they don’t have a call center or no GPS. How are these people functioning ? No one is supporting women. Priyadarshini Taxi Service has got 200 taxi permit sanction for Mumbai. We will be more visible,viable and available. The more women on the roads on any city, safer is that city for women.”
– Susieben Shah, Founder – Priyadarshini Taxi Service for women
“We as a society need to think on this, we should have a 24 hours ATM in every vicinity or we can give space for medical centers to run through out night, police station numbers can be given on the bus stop and most important CCTV cameras with live streaming of the same is very important to prevent crime. We need to involve more women in the system.Women staff in parking spaces,encourage more women taxi and auto drivers. I will be raising these points in BMC meeting.” – Sheetal Mhatre, Shivsena Corporator
“It’s the screening process that needs to be toughened. Uber USA screens their drivers far more thoroughly in India. Why aren’t the same checks mandatory here? How did Uber miss out on the background check? How was the certificate of character produced and by who? These are the key factors here. Banning Uber, and other such taxi services is not a solution. What next? Ban buses? Ban autos?
– Neha Srivastava, Ad professional
Women’s safety. Sexual Abuse happens at home and outside. It is extremely gut wrenching and unfortunate that the responsibility of being safe only lies in the hands of the individual. While, we SHOULD NOT STOP trying to make our planet safe for every individual, we should be cautious. Carry pepper spray, let at least one person know about your whereabouts, carry a fully charged power bank, don’t venture out alone late at night unless absolutely necessary.”
– Chetasi Kane, Project Associate, MICA
“Basic precautions are need of the hour at this point in time. When taking a taxi, especially late at night, share ride details with someone close, try, or at least pretend to talk to someone over the phone and try and avoid late night travels alone because unfortunately, at this point in time, the onus of protecting ourselves is on us itself.”
– Vandana Sharma, Homemaker
It is indeed surprising to see basic measures and precautions not taken by the cab service. However, this issue goes beyond the taxi service and is part of a much larger picture which includes regular sexual crimes against women. We can only hope the taxi services pull up their socks, ensure stringent measures and the rapist is punished for his actions.
Smita Diwan a Television Journalist and Communication Specialist with an experience of 10 years in media and leading satellite channels started whatshelikes.in as a digital hub for women in India. Smita specialises in Lifestyle, Home Decor, Health, Food and Product reviews. When she is not working,she is researching or practising yoga! @SmitaDiwan