Lalbagh: Female guards to check unruly morning walkers

Lalbagh: Female guards to check unruly morning walkers

Women Brigade

The female guards will ensure that the walkers do not carry plastic bags inside the Lalbagh Botanical Garden. DH file photo

For the first time, the Horticulture Department has deployed women security guards in a bid to control unruly morning walkers and to ensure cleanliness within the Lalbagh Botanical Garden. 

These guards will check that walkers they do not carry plastic bags and eatables inside the lung space. They will also keep a watch out for misbehaviour. 

“While most of the morning walkers coming to Labagh are genuine, there are many miscreants also. We observed for a month and assessed the crowd before deploying women. Initially, we were very reluctant to deploy women staffers. We were worried about the gender disparity and their safety. But we found that it worked,” a senior Horticulture Department told DH.

The official said the women stand at Lalbagh main gate and the west gate from 6 am to 7 am. For added safety, male guards and CCTV cameras are also deployed.

“We found that many bring biscuits, millets, grains and other food items in plastic carry bags. They feed animals and birds and litter the place. We also found that some people enter the Garden as morning walkers and enjoy free tours and even indulge in illegal activities. When male guards would question, they would be abused and even physically assaulted. But with females, people have started to behave and some have even stopped coming inside,” the official added.

This has created a mixed response among walkers. While some are happy with the idea, some say that this is just a method to harass people.

“What is the need to deploy additional security, that too woman. We have been coming for years together. Does the department not trust us? This will only create more chaos,” said Shivangi, a morning walker.

However P Sadashiva Reddy, President of Lalbagh Morning Walkers Association, said that this was a welcome move. “In fact, we will help them (women guards). This has helped control the menace to some extent,” he said.