Only one in four companies in the city has taken adequate measures so that women employees are safely dropped home late at night. And only 25% of companies have GPS-enabled vehicles, a survey by Assocham, an industry body, has found.
Apart from tracking vehicles through a centralised system, the GPS keeps tabs on drivers as well — whether they are speeding, or braking harshly, or changing routes midway. Mumbai employers fared poorly than Delhi or Bangalore where 32% and 30% companies have GPS-enabled vehicles for dropping employees home.
Assocham conducted the survey early this week with 800 companies (IT, BPO, hospitality, media, health care, and aviation) covering eight cities, including Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, and Bangalore.
A media person who works on night shifts said, “Forget GPS... My company doesn’t even have the policy of ‘woman not alone in vehicle’. I am supposed to travel on my own risk.”
Smrita Mani, an executive working with a shipping company, said her company offers a drop facility but only if a person stays till 11pm. “Office transport is mostly outsourced. I am not sure if any company keeps record of all the drivers. Everything here is on God’s mercy.”
Several women work late nights in Mumbai. In many cases the job demands so; in others, its the lure of higher pay packages that drive women to work in night shifts. But often most companies do not have a drop facility.
A woman officer working in the Mumbai university’s exam house in Kalina said, “Many a time I work till 10pm though my duty hour is up to 5pm. No one is bothered how I go back home, in Kalyan, at that time. I have no other option but to use public transport.”
While many companies, including large-scale establishments, are still to come up with concrete measures regarding the safety of women, a few such as Wipro, Intel, Cairn, and Dell have GPS-enabled vehicles.
Sangeeta Jain, who works as a cabin crew with Air India, said the company’s vehicle are GPS-enabled. The training head of E Global service, a BPO, said the company follows a ‘no first pick-up and last drop of women employees’.