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When safety comes first

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Several bars, pubs and restaurants in the city have gone the extra mile to ensure that their women customers feel secure on their premises. From increasing the number of bouncers and installing CCTV cameras to sanitising every nook and corner and launching campaigns to promote the safety of women, these public spaces are leaving no stone unturned to make sure women don’t feel unsafe.
Pubs and eateries located in and around Indiranagar, Koramangala, Brigade Road and Whitefield, are among those who wear their women-friendly tags on their sleeves.
Recently, The Humming Tree put up a board saying ‘This is a safe space’. Another initiative they took to ensure safety of women is called ‘Rumble’, which intends to get people to discuss and debate relevant issues.

“This is a collaborative effort between us and Amnesty International India. This latest effort brings together art and activism through cross cultural conversations. We also wish to convey that any form of abuse or harassment against women will not be tolerated,” explains Vidhi Kundan Jain, cultural and creative head at The Humming Tree. Most women in the city say that they would never venture into spaces that are unknown to them and prefer hanging out with a familiar group.

Ofelia Dey, an employee of Cognizance, doesn’t find the city to be as safe as it used to be.
“I like going to places where the crowd is good. I live on Sarjapur Road and we usually frequent places in and around Whitefield and Indiranagar. I haven’t noticed a lot of difference in terms of safety measures being taken at these places but that’s probably because I don’t go there that much,” says Ofelia.
A few like Sharmistha Sikdar, a fitness consultant, agree that it is unsafe for women to venture out alone after dusk.

“My late night outings are always with my family and friends. I don’t try going alone after dusk. Instances of eve teasing are still rampant in our city. So in this context, it is a good move if owners of restaurants are taking measures to secure their premises,” explains Sharmistha.

Aparna Rao Pais, head of CRM department of a Startup, moved into the city two years ago. “I go out clubbing a lot but I have never faced any problem, except for one instance. A man brushed his hand against my back. I made sure that I voiced out my protest then and there,” says Aparna, adding
that the tendency for indulging in eve teasing cuts across class and social barriers.

“Being literate and being educated are two different things. Sadly, even the educated crowd indulge in eve teasing here. This attitude needs to change,” Aparna says.

She adds that more than restaurants taking precautions, women must make sure that they protect themselves against any untoward incident.

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