Posts Tagged ‘mumbai’


Didi aapki skin bahaut dull ho gayi hai. Aap paani zyada piya karo.” (sister, your skin is looking very dull, you should drink more water. I wouldn’t have imagined that an ordinary interaction with a midwife would take the turn that it did.

Mujhe toh bahaut pyaas lagi hai, lekin main paani nahi peeti. Poora din idhar se udhar massage ke liye jaati hoon. Bathroom aa gaya toh kahan jaoongi?” (I get thirsty a lot but I don’t drink much water. All day long I visit different homes for my massage appointments. Where will I go to relieve myself if need be?)

On further enquiry, I found out that even though she visits over 8 houses a day, nobody lets her use their washroom. She reminisces about the day she had to urgently use the washroom and the woman she was massaging told her to go to the back alley of her house.

This happened in capital city of India, a booming economy. One can only imagine the bleak conditions in small towns and cities.

In first part of a 2-part write-up,  I am going to talk about the civic amenities (or lack thereof) provided to the citizens of the country. Stay tuned for my next part on class/caste discrimination with focus on women.

According to the reports of 10 out of 12 zones by Municipal Corporation of Delhi, there are 3,712 public toilets for men and only 269 for women. And yet we spot more men defiling the nooks and crannies and even roadsides in the city than women (who travel long routes to find isolated areas to answer nature’s call).

Who can blame these men? Even the existing public toilets in the country are poorly located and in such bad state that one must be extremely shy of public nudity to think of using one. The health of a civic society is strongly dependent on its sanitary condition which is directly linked to public toilets. Over 15 million urban households in the country do not have toilets.

Devinder Sehrawat of Delhi Gramin Samaj states, “while the Corporations may rattle out any number of figures, they do not reflect the reality of rural areas on the ground. Out of the total 1,483 sq.km area of Delhi, over 500 sq.km with a population of over 30 lakh and covering 360 villages is thus bereft of such facilities.” In South Delhi Municipal Corporation, there are about 500 toilets but most of them are concentrated in commercial areas. Entire rural belt of Delhi stretching from Badarpur border in South-East to Narela in the north does not have even a single public toilet.

Sanitation facilities for women in other states are equally bad; Sanitation is a matter of health and dignity for women. Existence of public and personal toilets affect women’s ability to work, their mobility and their safety. Even Mahatma Gandhi said that sanitation is more important than independence.

Inadequate sanitation facilities render women in both urban and rural areas vulnerable to sexual violence who then have to squat in open areas, inviting sexual assault, harassment and murders. Lack of toilets as well as low maintenance of those existing create health hazards for women. In many instances, it also leads to larger number of girl drop-out rate in schools.

  • Lack of access to toilets causes girls aged 12 to 18 to miss around five days of school per month, or around 50 school days per year, according to the 2011 Annual Status of Education Report released by minister of human resource development.
  • A national survey conducted by AC Nielsen and NGO Plan India in 2012 found that 23% girls drop out of school after reaching puberty.
  • In Bihar, 872 cases of rape were reported till November 2012. “Roughly 40% to 45% of the incidents took place with the women when they went out of their homes to defecate in the open,” states Arwind Pandey, Bihar police’s IG for weaker sections.
  • An RTI filed in July 2012 revealed that the BMC has not set up a single separate toilet for women in Mumbai, while  there are 2,849 toilets for men.
  • A 2012 study on drinking water and sanitation by the WHO and UNICEF reveals that 626 million people in India do not have a closed toilet. It’s the world’s highest number, far ahead of Indonesia, which ranks second at just 63 million.

For a clearer picture, refer to this table from Baseline Survey 2012: All India Abstract Report:

BSL-Survey-All-India-Report

However, lately there is an increased awareness for need for better water, health and sanitation facilities in the country. Many initiatives, programmes and policies have been launched to ensure more urban and rural households install personal toilets for benefit of both men and women.

A PIL was filed by advocate Ashok Aggarwal highlighting the shortage of toilets for women in Delhi. The High Court has sought the presence of  member secretary of the Central Pollution Control Board on August 6 and has even asked NDMC and Delhi Cantonment Board to file status report. [http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-05-16/delhi/39309334_1_public-toilets-status-report-division-bench]

Four years ago, the Haryana government started its ‘No Toilet, No Bride’ campaign, painting walls across the state with the slogan: “I won’t allow my daughter to marry into a home without toilets.” In just one year (2011), 330 gram panchayats have been turned into ‘nirmal gram’ or clean villages. [http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/a-slogan-boosts-sanitation-in-haryana/article3364896.ece]

The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has earmarked Rs 3 crore for setting up new public toilets to make Pune ‘open-defecation free’. [http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pcmc-to-upgrade-public-toilet-facility/1082365/]

35 NGOs in Mumbai launched The “Right to Pee” campaign in 2012 to collect as many signatures as possible to demand better public bathroom facilities for women and then present their case to the city’s civic authority, 50 percent of which is made up of women. Supriya from CORO, an organization under Right to Pee says, “we have surveyed 129 toilet blocks , did signature campaigns on 16 railway stations , organized workshops , met experts to understand the issue in depth, and submitted 50,000 signatures and analytic survey report to BMC.” She also reiterates about their experience in dealing with the authorities at BMC who claim that they have to charge women for using public toilets since they are not sure if women actually use the toilets for ‘urination or something else’.  Their campaign is actively working to improve situation of women.  [http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/right-to-pee-campaign-launches-women-restrooms-india]

One remarkable success story in recent times is that of a strong-willed woman in Odisha whose efforts resulted in 98% toilet coverage in a small village of Sagada in Puri. [http://www.indiasanitationportal.org/16817]

It must be a priority of the government and civic authorities to provide for better sanitary conditions to the people. Public toilets are as important as road, transport and communication infrastructure for growth and development of a State.

We could learn a lot from linfen, a Chinese city which only till a few years back was stated as one of the worst places in the world to live in. The local government began a ‘Toilet Revolution’ back in 2008 and built 200 public toilets in and around the city, increasing living condition, health and sanitation of its people. So much so that Linfen was awarded with UN-Habitat’s International Best Practice Award for the Asia and Pacific region.

Adequate sanitation is vital for social development as it boosts good health resulting in lower drop-out rates in girls studying in schools. Therefore it is a good investment as for ‘every 10% increase in female literacy, a country’s economy can grow by 0.3 percent. Educated girls are more likely to raise healthy, well-nourished, educated children, to protect themselves from exploitation and AIDS and to develop skills to contribute to their societies.’ – UNICEF

More toilets, coupled with better policing can control incidents of crime against women, specially in rural areas. We should start urging civic authorities in our areas to construct more easily accessible public toilets for both men and women for a cleaner, healthier and happier environment.


Guest post by Ankit Gupta, a social activist and avid blogger at Indian Survivor Federation: 

After Delhi gang rape case every Indian wants a solution and demand strongest step against culprits. Now It’s not about a one case or two. It’s about “how to curb India`s rape culture” because on the one side people are asking for justice everywhere in a country for the victims but sadly at a very same time these crimes take places on the other part of country.

Now every one asking following questions :
How to curb rape cases?

How to decrease the incidents of Eve Teasing?
How to create safe public spaces, where women and girls can move freely?

Here we are sharing few suggestions that can play a key role to use and access public spaces and services fearlessly for girls, women and every Common Indians.

In era of 3G, we are capable to decrease physical abuse and criminal activities in public spaces of metropolitan cities with the help of latest technology. Most of the time culprit thinks that “Nobody can catch me and I will never be identifying for my heinous crime”. But that’s not true, it is actually possible to identify these culprits and decrease the number of crimes that take place in our country. For all that we need to set up CCTV Surveillance Network in our city as use in London.
Mumbai, July 6, 2012: Mumbai police on
Friday released CCTV footage of a man
kidnapping a child in full public view at
Chattrapati Shivaji Station.
In our country, CCTV cameras are already in use in many cities at Bus stand, railway station, road crossing, toll plaza, high security area, etc. In some city CCTV camera also installed in local buses and local trains.But unfortunately, the number of CCTV cameras installed at public place is not enough. 

We know that CCTV Surveillance Network may help us to catch culprits of rape, eve teasing, chain snatching, bag lifting, hit & run cases, kidnapping, murder, terror attacks and many more. 
According to the crime rate we need a CCTV Surveillance Network with large number of CCTV camera as used in UK. We need a Centralize Control Center that helps us to control criminal activities in real time.
(CCTV + High Tech Control Center + Help line Number + Active Police) = Safe City
To know how successful CCTV Surveillance Network just type “CCTV Network in London” or “CCTV surveillance network in UK” on any popular search engine site. You will find an eye opener statics that describe the success story of CCTV Network.
If we follow CCTV Surveillance system as used in London, then with the help of centralize control room, CCTV Surveillance Network can be used very dynamically not only for decrease crime rate even it helps us to controlling traffic to prevent traffic Jam and plays an important role to send aid for road accident injured in minimum time.
After 26/11 Mumbai Incident, Honorable Home minister R R Patil with high-profile delegation visited London on September, 2011 for three days to study the city’s integrated intelligence and CCTV surveillance network. And then an ambitious plan created to install a network of 5,000 CCTV cameras in Mumbai. To read more please click following link :
After much delay in executing the ambitious project, the Maharashtra government on 26 September, 2012 invited fresh tenders for the Rs 864-crore cover plan for Mumbai. To read more please click following links :
Unfortunately red tapism and careless nature become a main cause of delaying cover plan for Mumbai with CCTV.
In last few years various state government spent lots of money on parks, museums and many other city decoration plans but unfortunately they don’t take seriously an ambitious plan “To cover metropolitan cities with CCTV surveillance network”.
At this point of time when every single human is asking for justice for the 23 year old victim the Government of India seriously thinks about various options to take the strongest step against rapists and working hard to decrease rape cases.
We request to Government of India please take necessary steps to cover every nook and corner of all metropolitan cities with CCTV surveillance network and pass a sufficient budget for CCTV surveillance in next budget 2013.
We also appeal to all Indians , police, social workers please demand to state government an action plan for covering metropolitan cities with CCTV surveillance network. 
(CCTV + High Tech Control Center + Help line Number + Active Police) = Safe City 
It may be possible that due to lack of sufficient budget some state government will show their inability to establish CCTV surveillance network in every metropolitan city because it is very expensive to follow the city’s integrated intelligence and CCTV surveillance network of London. Only in London there are more than 4 lac CCTV cameras. 
We have few suggestions to fight insufficient budget problem.
First Suggestion:
As we all know that Metro train project is also an ambitious and very expensive. To create a metro train track in all over Delhi city this project has been divided into various stages. In the last decade, the number of metro tracks has been increased after completing various stages and shows its success story.
Another example of Cable TV Digitization in all over India project has also been divided in various stages. In first phase of cable TV digitization done in only in 4 metro city and now second phase is about to start in various cities. 
Covering all metropolitan cities with CCTV surveillance network project also can be divided in various stages. For example:
1. Cover all road crossing
2. Cover all public places (govt. office, bus stop, taxi & auto stand, school/college/institute gate, mall, park, etc.)
3. Cover all public transport (bus, train, taxi, cab, auto, etc.)
4. Cover all colony main gate, gali and mahola
5. Finally cover every nook and corner of city  
Second Suggestion:
We know that government of India to running various education schemes charge Education cess at 2% and Secondary and higher education cess at 1% on income-tax, service tax, etc.
To cover all metropolitan cities with CCTV surveillance network within a record time government of India think to charge a security tax (cess) for a limited period only in metropolitan cities. 
Third Suggestion: 
Joint Venture of Government of India and Common Indian
Add a fix charge in an electricity bill for a limited period only in metropolitan cities. For example:
      0 – 50   electricity unit Nell
     50-100   electricity units Rs. 10   per month
   100-150   electricity units Rs. 15   per month
   150-200   electricity units Rs. 20   per month
   200-500   electricity units Rs. 50   per month
  500-1000  electricity units Rs. 80   per month
1000-1500  electricity units Rs. 100 per month
1500- 2000 electricity units Rs. 150 per month
And above Rs. 250 per month
Now it depends on us how we create safe public spaces, where women can move freely and use and access public spaces and services fearlessly.
At the end we want to share question of “A Wednesday” movie in different word:
“Ye Guwahati me, Delhi me, bus me, train me, ye sabi rape ke case nahi hai, ye ek Bahot Bada sawal hai aur wo sawal ye hai ki bhai hum to yunhi rape or eve teasing karte rahenge tum kya kar loge. Yes they asked this question.”
Now the time has come to answer them…

Hey everyone,

Justice for women is an initiative to bring about awareness about various issues and take action, and not just stop at the talking. We’ve organized free Self-defense workshops in Chennai, Chandigarh, Mumbai and Bangalore and plan to organize them across all cities of the country.

A lot of people have been helping us with small tasks such as being our Local hosts, Guest Bloggers or helping with Marketing. With more work and more goals, we thought this is the best time to let people formally join us as Volunteers.

This is your chance to contribute your bit towards the society, towards a social cause. If you’ve any questions regarding this, please email us at mail [at] justiceforwomen [dot] org. After that, if you think you’re passionate enough to give your time for the cause, please do join us. To join, please fill the following form (We’ve limited places only) :-

If you’re facing problems filling the form here, please follow this link : FORM

Hope to see a lot of support from you guys!

 


This post comprises of news-links about crime committed against young adults or girls below the age of 18 years. Newer  links on top.

  1. Mumbai: Girl stripped, paraded naked by neighbours; kills self
  2. After being stopped by police, clicked by media, girl commits suicide
  3. 11-year-old girl set ablaze by nine persons succumbs to burn injuries
  4. Nepal native raped minor repeatedly for 23 days; jailed for 7 yrs
  5. Iran moves to legalize marriage for girls under 10 years old
  6. Panchayat prohibits girls from carrying mobile phones
  7. Teenager gangraped in moving car; culprits still at large

Do send us more links so we can regularly update this post on our Twitter and/or our Facebook group.


This post comprises of rape news from all across the country. Newer news items on the top.

  1. Delhi: teen gang raped for a week
  2. RPF cop rapes 20-year-old at New Delhi railway station
  3. Widow stabbed, gang-raped at knife-point by 3 relatives
  4. Woman dragged into car in Kolkata and gang-raped
  5. Mumbai: Indian origin US national doctor arrested for raping married woman
  6. Delhi: 15-year-old girl abducted, sold and raped
  7. Three youths molest pregnant woman in bus; one held
  8. UP: 12-yr-old set afire for resisting rape attempt in Fatehpur
  9. Tamil Nadu: Doctor rapes 16-yr-old patient in semi-conscious state
  10. UP shocker: Doctors rape 32-year-old woman during treatment
  11. Delhi girl gang-raped in Faridabad, one arrested

Kindly keep us updated with more stories and articles on our Twitter account and Facebook group.