The Bengaluru police’s South East division has identified eight public spaces where women will be encouraged to spend time after dark.

Woman IPS officer starts initiative in Bengaluru to help women reclaim public spacesFile photo
news Women Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 13:32

In a move to make parts of the city safer for women and reclaim public spaces, Isha Pant, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of the South West division of the Bengaluru police, launched a campaign where women will be encouraged to spend time in public spaces after dark. The campaign will be held from February 24 to March 8 (International Women’s Day).

The DCP has announced eight specific places where women have been asked to spend time in the evening — from 7 pm to 10 pm. 

The spots include Silk board, Diary circle, Koramangala BDA complex, Koramangala passport office, Madiwala market, Spurthy hospital Taverekere, Grape garden Koramangala 6th block, and Veera Yodhya Udhyanavana, Koramangala 4th block.

Isha Pant tweeted that this campaign has been launched to make spaces more inclusive. “Eight different places have been identified where women feel uncomfortable at night. The goal is to make these places safe. Come join us for a fortnight from 24/02 to 8/3 every evening from 7 pm to 10 pm,” the DCP tweeted.

 

 

The move is an attempt to reclaim public spaces, which are rendered unsafe due to "anti-social” elements and poor lighting. 

The initiative is being launched in association with Bengaluru-based NGO, Durga India, which works towards the deterrence of crimes against women, according to information available on their website, durgaindia.org.

Isha Pant had announced earlier this month that she would work towards making the city inclusive for women who feel unsafe in public spaces and had invited suggestions from the public to identify such places.

“After fixing the infrastructural issues, we will have women from different age groups and professions come and spend a couple of hours there. Seeing more women in such places will encourage other women to visit these places too. The idea is to make women feel safe and comfortable in public places,” she had tweeted.

This is a pilot project which is only being undertaken in the South East division in Bengaluru in the city. 

While many have hailed the initiative, activists say there is a larger question of safety that also needs to be addressed. They have also questioned the time slot for the initiative, which is 7 pm to 10 pm.

"It's an experiment for about a fortnight and it's good that people are having conversations about it. However, such a move would not eliminate the problem, but we should keep having such projects to speak about it in the future,” says women's rights activist and artist Indu Anthony.

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