Women don't buy political promises of a 'safer Delhi'

Women don't buy political promises of a 'safer Delhi'

Even though every political party here is trying to score over one another on the issue of women’s safety, women here wonder if Delhi will be any safer once the new government is formed. Professionals and students who travel late into the evening feel little will change.

“I do not think things will change just by installing CCTV cameras as all the major parties have been promising. There should be no-refusal autorickshaws for ensuring safety. The last mile connectivity is always a problem while returning at night. But no leader is talking about correcting the basic problems,” says Neelam, an IT professional. 

Swati, who is preparing for her MBA entrance, says she will vote for the AAP because it can connect with the youth. The 22-year-old doesn’t buy its promise of a safer city though. 

BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi has tried to strike a chord with women throughout her campaigning by promising to deliver first on women’s security. The AAP and Congress have also been making tall claims on delivering a “safer Delhi” if elected through CCTV camera surveillance. The distrust among women for an enhanced safety environment is palpable even though parties are vying to woo voters with promises on this.

Women in the Capital will, in fact, vote for stability, cheaper electricity and water bills, more toilet blocks and enhanced opportunities for employment.

“A friend of mine is struggling to keep up with high costs of electricity. With the Modi government, new meters were installed from which nobody has benefited. How are people supposed to have acche din if they can’t even pay their electricity bills?” says Sushma from Zamrudpur.

For those from the lower economic background, the Aam Aadmi Party seems to be the saviour of their woes. Promise of improved living conditions in the slums has been pending for years now. The AAP might prove to be a saviour at this stage, they feel.

“For several years now, we have been dreaming of a life in which we women have access to decent loos in the area. We have to wait in queue for long before our turn comes. Some of us regularly suffer from infection because of the poor hygienic conditions,” says Radhika, a resident of Nehru Camp in south Delhi’s Govindpuri area.

For Jyotsna, who moved to the Capital eight years back from her hometown in Bihar, sending her daughter to a “good school” is high on the priority.

Scarcity of water remains the other major problem among women residing in the slums. “In the jhuggis, we usually are a family of six to eight people. Imagine what we go through with no steady supply in water. I get up at 4 am to collect water for the entire family to use through the day,” says Premwati, a resident of Navjivan Camp in south Delhi. 

For the upper-middle-class, stability in governance is perhaps the most deciding factor.
“My vote will go to the BJP. What we need currently is a stable government which can take decisions promptly. It will also give better employment opportunities to the youth,” says Indu Jain, a resident of Rohini.

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