New Delhi, Jan. 9 -- Amid the deluge of insensitive as well as bizarre remarks from the spiritual and political class, a few are making an actual effort towards addressing the issue of women's safety in the aftermath of the Delhi gang rape.
Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh, who earlier asked brides to boycott the houses of in-laws that lack toilets, had been keeping mum on the Delhi rape.
On Monday, however, he wrote a letter to the Delhi chief minister - suggesting ways to curb atrocities against women in the city.
Pointing out that the new helpline (181) has a male telephone operator making enquiries from women callers, he suggested that the line be operated exclusively by women "for women to feel safe and comfortable to complain". "Student volunteers could be considered for the job of operators. Let calls be directed to women officers at stations and point persons at women cells for an immediate response," he added.
Ramesh also recommended exclusive buses of a distinct colour for women - complete with low floors, proper lighting, and driven by trained women between 7 pm and 7 am on Delhi roads.
The capital, which has earned the dubious reputation of being an unsafe city for women, witnessed 4,489 cases of crime against women - the highest among all cities - in 2011.
In Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh DGP Dinesh Reddy is attending sensitisation programmes at IT hubs, informing women employees about their rights in the event of an atrocity. "In extreme cases, go ahead and kill anyone who tries to rape you. The law will be lenient," Reddy said. Hyderabad registered 1,860 crimes against women in 2011.
In Guntur, Superintendent of Police Ravi Krishna distributed chilli powder sachets among college girls - saying it could be thrown at eve-teasers.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.