For women in India, the safety statistics have been grim for a long time now. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, the rate of crime against women increased by 16% from 2013 to 2017. And in 2018, India was named the most dangerous country for women to live in by a survey conducted by Thomson Reuters Foundation.
With cases of rape, molestation, eve-teasing (to name a few) being reported every now and then, there is no doubt that women safety is the most immediate social concern in our country. The need of the hour is some robust and rapid mechanisms for addressing the crimes against women. And amidst such a situation, the announcement of Noida’s all-women police patrol is definitely a welcome move.
On Saturday (August 1), the Noida Police commissionerate formed their new all-women-scooter-borne patrolling units under the initiative Swayamsiddha. Its focus will be on women’s safety in Noida and Greater Noida.
After setting up several mahila chaupals (dedicated units for women) in residential areas and police stations, Deputy Commissioner Police (Women Safety) Vrinda Shukla took another great initiative to provide better security to women in the city. Flagging off 50 out of 100 such units, Police Commissioner of Noida Alok Singh said that the basic idea of coming up with Swayamsiddha units was to increase patrolling in the 163 identified hotspots in the area. These hotspots include metro stations, schools, colleges, auto stands, industrial areas with women-centric workforce and shopping malls.
According to police officials, the decision was taken after feedback from the public and the NGOs working for women. Initially, the units will only be deployed during the daytime, but the department will keep on modifying the timings and the equipment provided to the force.
Amid the recent cases of criminal offences against women by male police personnel, we think having an all-women police squad is a great idea. However, this is not the first one! Cities like Udaipur, Mangaluru and Bengaluru, too, have all-women police patrol units. Such initiatives are not just empowering and reassuring, but they might help in improving the overall state of women in India. Or so is the hope.