Buses unfriendly towards women
A study by ActionAid found that 56 percent of women commuters avoid public transportation due to lack of proper seating facilities. Further, 25 percent women commuters found safety to be a major issue. Cases of sexual harassment are rampant with one in five facing it and this comes from co-passengers and helpers. The general attitude towards women travelling by buses is that they are a nuisance. The reserved seats that are mandatory in every bus for women are generally occupied by men who often refuse to vacate them when a woman boards the vehicle. Since the people who are supposed to enforce this rule—the helpers and drivers—too are generally ill-disposed towards women commuters, the findings of the study do not really come as a surprise.
As we have become used to flouting rules in our everyday lives, it appears that many men believe it is their God-given right to harass women when they choose to board a bus to commute. So what is to be done? BRTA needs to conduct regular drives to check for errant buses which flout the rules regarding reserved women's seating and make that a regular feature. Bus owners, drivers and helpers need to be made accountable for their actions.