Recently, there was the National Census Survey conducted in the National Capital Region of India commonly called Delhi NCR. According to this survey, conducted on an annual basis, regarding the sex ratio of the capital, it was found out that the figure or ratio for females had dropped from 1004 girls per 1000 boys in 2008 to 915 girl per 1000 boys in 2009, a steep decline of in the past one year. At a time when this figure was increasing consistently for the fast five years, this is taken to be just another exception.
However, different from the scenario conducted by this survey, there has been continuous progress of women in all sectors and areas of work, arts, sciences, corporates, and so on. One need not be an expert to see it all around. Naturally, the number of ladies headed to their offices far off from their homes is a very task now-a-days. Many of them drive to their destinations, in fact, to be very honest, most of the time when I am in the market, or whenever I am travelling, I am astonished to find that nearly 85% of the drivers I come across in moving cars are ladies!! It might be limited to my locality only, but it is quite astonishing to see such a quick rise in the number of female riders in the capital.
But, those who don’t have access to their personal vehicles are a left with little choice other than taking the Metro. I am not mentioning buses and if you disagree, come to Delhi and travel in a bus to find out yourself. But in recent times, with the decline in the number of buses, combined with the ever expanding network of the Delhi Metro, there is a considerable rise in the number of riders in the Metro. Earlier, you could easily travel in the Metro as the network was small, and only selected people opted for this mode of travel, but with the Commonwealth Games coming to Delhi and the need for fast and comfortable mode of safe travel to distant places on a rise, both among natives and tourists, the Delhi Metro never goes Jam-Packed.
Amongst all that, it is really difficult for ladies to undertake long distant travel in Metro coaches. On its part, The Metro Authorities have always kept seats reserved for ladies and Senior Citizens, but the Men of Delhi, recently have taken up the practice of occupying ladies seats. It is not difficult for us men, who really don’t care or mind, whether we have to sit, stand or even hang (yeah, people do hang) while travelling!! We can push people here and there, make our way into spaces, and amazingly still enjoy ourselves. But that is not the case with the ladies, who can’t do any of those things. Some girls smartly make their way out of such situations with grace using the trademark “female charm”, but the majority of them still suffer.
In that scenario, Delhi Metro’s decision to reserve the first coach all trains for ladies (apart from their usual system of reserving seats in general coaches for ladies) comes out as a major sigh of relief. Now, not only can women travel in the Metro without any hassles like rushes, overcrowding, pushing, and etc. but they also enjoy their rides with all the other female companions. It is a great decision, which will also promote more and more women to take the Metro, as a mode of convenient and safe travel.
But, as someone has truly said, men are men, always!! Ironically, you can always find, men hanging (yes, I am deliberately using this word here) in the ladies coach of the Metro. Maybe, the lure of an empty coach is too hard to resist for some. However, to counter that, recently, the Metro Authorities have started to impose a `200 ($4) fine on any man found to be travelling in the first coach.
Agreed, that it may be a little disappointing for many of us college-going Boys, since most girls go to the “kitty party” (yeah, that’s what we call the ladies compartment!!) honestly feel the Metro has become pretty gloomy and boring, after this rule (yeah, me included, and you can guess why!!), but for Girls, it is the new cool thing.
As it is, in today’s world, it is really hard being a female. With the additional corporate and work pressure, combined with domestic responsibilities, ladies do nearly double the amount of work than us, men. In such a situation, this decision of the Delhi Metro comes out as the huge winner. Even most men are supportive of it, as we also have appreciated this decision, since we also have our mothers, sisters, friends, and WAGs (Wives and Girlfriends) travelling, and it is nice to feel assured that they can travel safely and comfortably to any part of the capital.
In the end, three cheers to the Delhi Metro, for making the travel in the city much safer and comfortable for the fairer sex. In the future, it wouldn’t be surprising to see an even all-female train being run at fixed intervals at various routes. Even though, this has pushed the status of men travelling in the remaining coaches as hanging, (yeah, now we don’t travel in the Metro any more, we “hang” in it!!!), but as I mentioned earlier, we hardly even seem to mind.