• India has progressed as a democracy, but essentially somewhere we have lost sense of where we stand as a society. The anxiousness of being safe while going on with their daily lives is something that occupies a lot of their time and thoughts – just like it does mine. There are a lot of uncomfortable facts that we have to face about ourselves. Things have changed a lot, in terms of the public discourse happening in our country and society, but things have remained the same in lots of ways. There is this fear psychosis that women in this country live with.
    Richa Singh, 24, who works for an online travel portal says, "women are seen as objects in this city, it doesn't matter what I wear, I still get stared at by men on the streets".
    Aanchal said that whenever she hires an auto rickshaw she has to send a short message to her father giving details of the auto in order to feel secure. "Government claims that the girl would be safer if she doesn't step out after 7 P. M., but one question which still remains unanswered (for me) would be - how safe am I even under the brightly lit sky? For how long sending a series of texts including the drivers name and the vehicle registration number to my father after hiring an auto rickshaw would give me the sense of security?".
    "I am doing a very unconventional job for women. Given that I do night shifts, I carry pepper spray bottle and I'm trained in self-defence. Initially I faced a lot of problems but driving cabs at night has helped me to overcome my fears", said Chandani, 22 who has been working as a cab driver for the last four years.
    Twenty-three-year-old Ishita Matharu, who works for a multinational company, drives her car to take a class in Krav Maga, an Israeli self defence technique. Ishita has been taking Krav Maga classes for over four years."I am not scared to travel alone by myself at night. After learning Krav Maga I am more confident to step out of my house late in the evening," she said.
    Sheetal 23, who works at a night call center, said she has started carrying a small knife to protect herself. She also said "something which needs to be changed is not my working hours or my clothes but the mentality of the men in this city".
    "I made the decision to use public transport as my primary way of moving through the city because I really believe that it is my right to be able to use public space, just as much as it is of any man's", Simrat said. "Not using the metro or an auto or a bus or a cycle rickshaw (because it might not be a safe thing to do) is not an option in my mind because if I stop myself from living my life in ways that are most convenient to me, I'm giving into fear and ceding my independence. I use the metro because it's the most convenient travel option for me and I will continue to do so".
    Nalini Bharatwaj, 37, chairman of a management institute, said "Half of the time I am alone with my children and sometimes I have to travel late at night from work. It is enough to shut up anyone trying to molest me or even pass a comment if I flaunt my gun",

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