The scary last mile walk back home

The scary last mile walk back home

Twenty-six-year-old Aarti, a software engineer employed in an IT giant in Marathahalli was happy to shift to the Silicon City recently. However, she had little idea that her move to the city and her working hours coupled with commuting woes will give her a scare everyday.

Due to the absence of any mode of transport providing last mile connectivity and insufficient streetlights in her residential area, she has a tough time reaching home after she alights a BMTC bus on Old Airport Road.

A resident of Cambridge Layout, Aarti takes the BMTC bus to office. It works well since the bus stop is a stone's throw away from her office. “But the problem arises while returning. The bus stop on Old Airport road and my house are about one and a half kilometre apart. Usually I reach by 9:00 or 9:30 pm but sometimes it gets even late,” she says.

Alighting at Command Hospital bus stop, she has to walk down. Aarti explains her predicament: “The worst part is most of the times the streetlights are off. The lane is pitch dark and usually, very few people are on the street around that time. It is a horrible to walk down alone feeling scared for my life in pitch dark. These day one hears of so many incidents of assaults on women and it make me all the more fearful.”

Prerana, a 35-year-old marketing firm employee, residing in Kasthuri Nagar has a similar tale to tell. “I start my day around 10:30 am and finish usually by 9 pm. But there are times when we have our review meetings usually at the end of the month, which continue for another half an hour or more. My office is around Trinity Circle so I take a Metro. But the problem is that after getting down at the Swami Vivekananda Metro Station around 10 pm, I have another two kilometers to reach my house.”

So, she looks around for autorickshaws. “But, most of the times, the auto drivers refuse to ply for such a short distance and even if they do, they ask for a huge amount. Many times I tried to walk down till my home but it was very scary. There are rowdy elements on the street, drunk men who pass remarks and make it even worse. Since there are no lights, I am left with no option but to call someone from home to come and escort me,” says Prerana. Yet, she knows it is not an option every day to rely on someone to escort her back.

Thirty-one-year-old Rohini, an ex-banker has a more interesting story to tell. A resident of Kalyan Nagar on the Outer Ring Road, Rohini used to work in a bank on Kasturba Road. However, due to the absence of last-mile connectivity and commuting woes besides increasing crimes against women, she was forced to quit her job. “Every day, returning home from office was becoming a big trouble for me.

There was no direct bus, coming back home was actually a big issue. Since I was working with a private bank, working hours would usually stretch beyond 8.30 pm. Autorickshaw drivers would charge me a hefty sum to drop me on the Outer Ring road but would refuse to drop me till my home which was one kilometre away from the main road. I could not walk alone in the night everyday.” 

She knew walking alone on the poorly lit road back home, where groups of men were always on the prowl, was not an option at all. Quitting the job was the only option left. She did that.

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