The gang rape in Delhi has proved that there is a long way to go before women feel safe in our country. But things must change, and change quickly. DNA suggests how
1. Increase police patrolling on the streets, especially during the night, so that people can travel without fear. The colonial Police Act of 1860 must be junked and officers should be made accountable to the public.
2. Deploy more women cops. Their presence will make women commuters feel comfortable in approaching the police in case of an untoward incident.
3. Police reforms are mandatory. Sensitise the police force to deal with people. Ensure that they register complaints and don’t drive away people. It should begin with the Mumbai and Delhi police. Use a punish and reward approach.
4. The attitude of politicians and those in powerful positions must change. There must be no place for arrogance and flexing of muscle. They must exude confidence among the people of the country.
5. Political parties must take a stand and not give tickets to those with criminal cases. Also, people who shoot their mouths off and make derogatory remarks against women should be awarded the strictest punishment possible.
6. There should be prompt justice in case of heinous crimes like rapes. Fast-track courts must be set up to deal with cases of rape and murder. The guilty must not go scot-free. There should be more courts and more judges.
7. Violence against women in all forms must be condemned and taken seriously. The government should rope in NGOs and civil rights groups to curb crime and allow women an outlet to express themselves.
8. Lessons in gender sensitivity must be imparted to school and college students through their curriculum. Workshops and seminars discussing such issues must be organised regularly and supported by the government.
9. The ordinary citizen must also play an important role. He/she should not be a mute spectator to violence or crime against women. It is essential to treat a woman as a human being and act against the perpetrators of crime.
10. Campaigns like Gaali Bandh help in stemming the rot in society and treating women with respect. They should be encouraged. It is important to build a mindset which does not consider women inferior to anyone