Updated: Mar 20
We can exist in denial but can we counter it with relevant data? Very unlikely!
Laura Begley Bloom (Senior Contributor at Forbes Women) has published an article in which she has listed the top 20 dangerous or unsafe countries for solo female travelers, (Read it here) unfortunately India finds itself at the 9th worst on Earth. But is it shocking, is this article partial against India? Give it a thought and it is for ourselves to answer, we can live in denial but that will not change how things are. Accepting and embracing the issue is indeed the first step towards solving it.
Rape is the fourth most common crime against women in India. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2013 annual report, 24,923 rape cases were reported across India in 2012. Out of these, 24,470 were committed by someone known to the victim (98% of the cases). Recently Wander Womaniya hosted a small group of Canadian girls traveling alone in India spanning for about a week covering Delhi, Agra, Mathura, Ranthambore and Jaipur wherein we ensured that we don't focus on touristy places only but take them through the very essence of India. While everything went great starting from a walking tour of Old Delhi, having the local food, visit to the Taj Mahal, Sheroes cafe , hot air balloon ride over Jaipur & a lot more; there was a bad moment too. It saddens us that we had no words to defend or support our country against the girls being touched inappropriately at a public place, this was despite taking all precautions.
While people all around the world are so keen to visit India, experience the rich heritage and culture of India; these incidents continue to malign our image on the global front. When we visit Europe or the Americas our concern is possibly time factor, conversion rates, expense or not being able to cover a particular destination because of distance factor but in our case it is safety & security for females traveling alone. Amount of attention any female foreigner travel group gets in India by locals is somewhat scary, people tend to pass lewd comments, stare and even indulge in trying to get uncomfortably close while pretending to talk or help.
There is a steady rise in the number of women travel group companies blooming in India and across the world, while solo travel is something that cannot be replicated travel groups for women is the safest alternative which ensures you can explore India while not compromising on security and safety.
Can we blame the government or a particular set of people? What duty do we have to make our country safer for anybody foreigner or not to step out irrespective of the time of the day. It all starts at the very basic level whenever a child is born and brought up. India ranks very low on the gender equality front that indeed.
Let us know your suggestions on what an individual should do or can do to make India get off this infamous list of being unsafe on global arena!
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