1st March 2014

Dear Sri Siddharamaiah ji,

Sub: B.PAC’s Safety for Women and Girl Child Initiative B.SAFE requests announcement of scheme “Gulabi Autos” and “Gulabi Cabs”

Introduction : The crying need for a Safer City

As you are no doubt aware there has been an alarming rise in crimes such as rape and sexual assault on women and girl children all across the country. It is shameful that a large nation such as ours cannot find effective ways to make our cities and our country more secure for our women and children.

There is a crying need for citizens, government, political leadership, civic bodies and other parastatal agencies and other stake holders to come together and address this on a war footing. Our women and girl children are being seriously wronged and our judiciary has not been swift enough to mete out justice, which has only resulted in emboldening the bad elements in our society to take advantage of the situation and attack without any fear.

Some of the unenviable statistics with regard to Safety for Women are given below:

1. Karnataka ranks 10th in terms of percentage share of the overall national figures of crimes against women.

2. Bangalore ranks number four in terms of rape cases at 3.8 per cent, with Delhi at the top (17.6 per cent). Bangalore is also in the second position when it comes to crimes against women. You will agree that this is a terrible distinction for the city.

3. The year 2012 saw several gruesome cases of rape and assault on women, and abuse of children. 17 cases of rape and sexual abuse of children were reported in the city in the last seven months (June to December 2012). Some more high profile than the other, which shocked the city — be it the alleged abuse of a three-and-a-half-year-old by her father, the rape of a young law student on the Jnana Bharathi campus or the reported rape of a 7 year old girl in Bangalore or rape of a medical student at Manipal or the more recent horrifying rape of a young 2 year old child in the school premises by the van driver.

These statistics are horrifying and we must take bold and decisive steps to shed the tag of an unsafe city. This calls for swift action on many fronts.

One of the areas for immediate action is the growing concern over safety of women in public transport . Auto Rickshaws are the major mode of transportation in the city. Unfortunately women of the city are not finding this mode of transportation safe anymore.

During the past several months B.PAC has been having a dialogue with the government, women commuters and auto drivers to understand the issues of safety in public transport. As part of our B.SAFE initiative to promote “Safety in Public Spaces “ and create greater women’s empowerment, B.PAC proposes the “Gulabi Auto “ Scheme. We request the Government to look at it positively and make an announcement by the 4th of March. This will enable us to announce the same for the upcoming International Women’s Day on March 8. This would be a great gift to the many women who use autos at all times of the day and a great source of livelihood for the women auto drivers.

A brief concept note on the Gulabi Auto is outlined below for your kind consideration.

Gulabi Autos for a Safe City

Objectives of the scheme:

  1. Safety of women in public transport by having women driven autos
  2. Empower 5000 women by self-employment in turn impacting 5000 families.

Gulabi Auto as the name suggests will be Pink in color (Gulabi) owned and driven by Women.

The following are some of the key features suggested under this initiative:

a) Gulabi AutosFor Women by Women:

These autos will be owned and driven by women. Gulabi Autos would benefit the woman commuter immensely making her feel more safe. We have spoken about this concept to several potential women commuters and it has received tremendous positive response and women have welcomed this suggestion wholeheartedly.

b) GPS and Technology enablement :

Gulabi autos can be GPS enabled with safety panic button coupled with a technology application on their mobile that can send an immediate alert to nearby police stations and control rooms.

c) Training for Women Drivers:

The women drivers will undergo training in all aspects including driving skills, customer service, language skills, routes and directions and self defense workshops . This will ensure that they are fully ready to face the challenges that will come their way.

d) Easy access to finance:

There are several schemes run by the government for Entrepreneurs and some specifically for Women Entrepreneurs and some with Equity Support and/or grants from the government. All such facilities and schemes should be made applicable to this scheme as well since this will support and encourage entrepreneurship and improve livelihood of women and hence, their families.The Gulabi autos may also be funded through Mahila Bank under the Self Employment Scheme or similar schemes by other Institutions that will encourage women self employment.

A similar scheme should be announced for “Gulabi Cabs” as well.

Conclusion:

We hope that the Government will consider our request on an urgent basis as this measure will make our women and children feel safer in the city. This would be one of the several steps we need to take for instilling faith in every woman that Bangalore stands united and strong to ensure her safety.

About B.SAFE

Through its B.SAFE initiative, B.PAC is working in the areas of Safety in Public Spaces, Safety at the Work Place and Safety in Schools and Advocacy. It strongly recommends the implementation of a zero- tolerance program using the tools of education, social sanction, public shaming, speedy police and juidicial action and timely provision of safety related infrastructure equally.

 

Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”

Yours truly,

Mohandas Pai Vice-President, B.PAC

Sridhar Pabisetty Chief Programs Officer, B.PAC

CC : Hon’ble Shri Ramalinga Reddy, Minister for Transport and Minister of for Bangalore

CC : Mr. Kaushik Mukherjee , Chief Secretary

CC: Mr PN Sreenivasachary , Principal Secretary Transport

CC: Mr. Auradhkar , Police Commissioner