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Arvind Kejriwal’s Proposal To Make Travel In Public Transport Free For Women For ‘Safety’ Reasons Is Absolute Nonsense

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News is just in that Arvind Kejriwal has proposed that travelling on public transport be made free for women. He points out, that this move is to improve the ‘safety’ situation in the capital. Now the problem with that is, that we don’t quite get it. How is free public transport to ensure the safety of women in Delhi? Do they get safer because they travel with a lot of other people?  Or is this so that women can be safe from unsavoury elements in cabs and stuff but get groped on the metro and on buses? What exactly has called for such graciousness on the part of the Delhi government?

The thing is, the move seems entirely miss the point. When I was a kid, and my elder brother would trouble me a little too much, and then try and compensate it with something substantial. Like taking me out for a movie when he wouldn’t hand me the remote. Buying me a dress when he had told on me. Point being, he would make up for it but then at this point, we had already fought or the parents had already given me an earful so the whole exercise proved to be useless. Today, Arvind Kejriwal made me feel the same way.

The focus, where it should be on strengthening the laws, judicial system and police patrolling, is being shifted to make transportation free when it doesn’t even serve the purpose they want to serve. Will having a free ticket make it okay to feel constantly on guard when we are out and about? Nope. Will us saving that money actually makes us want to put ourselves in danger’s way? Absolutely not. Then why this move at all?

Of course, it is a respite for the ones who can’t afford the travel, but then don’t pin this as a 700 crore attempt at providing safety to women. That will come when resources are pooled in for stricter laws, quicker judgments and an effective look out by the authorities to ensure cases are being reported right and being looked into.

Arvind Kejriwal, who is yet to get clearance in this proposal said, “Delhi is the only government that is honest and is spending your money on facilities and is still running on profit. Right now our concern is the safety of women. There are questions regarding the metro, but we will let you know how the proposal evolves at every step.”

And while we want to believe he may genuinely have wanted to help the worsening state of gender-based crimes, we can’t help but think of it as a way to gather support. He further explained, “Those who want to buy tickets are free to do so, they need not take the subsidy. Several women can afford these modes of transport. Those who can afford it, can buy tickets and forgo subsidy so others could benefit.”

We still think, he could make better use of that 700 crore worth of budget for something that would have a more direct impact on the situation than a sidelined attempt such as this one


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