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Dear Kejriwal, Free Transport Will Not Make Women Safer. We Do Hope It Will Give Them A Fighting Chance, Though

August 16, 2019 | by Sadhika Sehgal
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It has been a very festive week, with Eid, Independence Day and Rakhi, all falling within these 7 days and being blessed with a lot of holidays. And it seems like my brother was not the only one presenting me with gifts and a promise to keep me safe. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also squirrelled himself into the role of a guardian for women, as he announced on Thursday how Delhi bus service will be free to travel for women starting 29 October.

It was during his Independence Day speech, that the CM of Delhi announced the confirmation of this proposal going through and also assured to soon make the Delhi Metro free for women, as well. This proposal that had been in the talks for quite some time, and was confirmed by the Chief Minister earlier this week.

He said, “On the day of Raksha Bandhan, I want to give a gift to our sisters that there will be free rides for women on all DTC and cluster buses from October 29, the occasion of Bhai Dooj, which will ensure their safety,”

He further said, “With this move, our sisters will be able to fulfil their dreams because they have to travel long distances for their studies and work.” It is no news that Delhi currently stands as one of the most unsafe cities to be in for the women. With this move, Arvind Kejriwal and the government seek to provide women safe accessibility and a reduced sense of fear which till now have been distant dreams.

Kejriwal’s proposal was questioned by the opposition several times on account of the amount of money the government would be required to shell out for this move. He clarified by saying how he wasn’t stealing or splurging money for it but using the stolen taxes to facilitate this move and empowering women to pursue their dreams.

He also talked about it impacting the working women population of the country and said, “Currently, only 30 per cent of women and 70 per cent of men travel in public transport buses and metro trains. Our free ride scheme will significantly help women realise their dreams.”

And, we too hope that this initiative bores the fruit that we are hoping for, and isn’t a bust like other initiatives that this government has taken and conveniently failed to deliver on. Guess we’ll have to wait and find out.

Sadhika Sehgal

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