Playing it safe

Playing it safe

Security concerns

Playing it safe

Home to many young professionals from different parts of the country and an IT culture that revolves around the unlikeliest of working hours, one of Bengaluru’s strong points is its ‘safety’ tag — at least when compared to the other cities.

With a drastic increase in the number of single women living alone and working late and long hours, there are many measures that one can take to tackle the concerns that come along with this situation.

“I started living in an individual flat after having stayed in a PG for a year or so,” says Lini John, an MNC employee. “Having grown quite accustomed to sharing my space with many people, I was hyper aware of every small creak or bump at night in my flat. But then I took all possible measures to make myself feel secure. All windows were bolted and latched at night and there was a mandatory phone call to either my parents or brother at least twice a day. I also made it a point to talk to my neighbours and be on friendly terms with them as they are usually the first ones we can turn to in times of need,” she explains, smiling.

“It is a no brainer but be very careful of the locality and surroundings when you select a house,” says Myrtle D’silva, a professional. “It may be difficult to find houses in posh areas with the kind of budgets that single women usually have but you could try for ‘up and coming’ neighbourhoods. Read the reviews about the area and talk to the people who have been there for some time. Make friends — it is essential while living on your own. And once you do find a place, make an effort to know the area and find out the safe and unsafe pockets,” she adds.

In a society which is only getting used to the idea of a single, independent, career-oriented female, these are safeguards that will be beneficial to all young girls. Young boys too would do well to exercise some caution but it is true that ladies have it slightly harder. The old tried and tested methods of pepper sprays and peepholes are still relevant and very much useful; along with some innovative measures.

“My father visited me once and left a pair of shoes behind at my place with the instructions that I should always keep them outside the door to trick people into believing that there were males in the house,” laughs Ruchita Bharbhari. “But seriously, it is not a sign of paranoia. We are just playing safe. This extends to the act of installing alarm systems and CCTV cameras that are not very expensive and can be easily fixed by PG tenants or flat owners in their places.”

The mobile phone is a big factor in ensuring or compromising one’s safety, depending upon how one uses it. While everyone advocates having a fully charged phone with all emergency numbers on speed dial, this charge should not be used to check social media and post updates. Says Anagha P, “I don’t usually check in to places on Facebook because I don’t want everyone on my friends’ list to have an idea of where I am. And even if my friends want to do it, I don’t let them put exact locations. For example, if I am in New BEL Road, I just say Mathikere. It is a small thing but at least I have peace of mind. When inside, I always double check to see if all the doors and windows are locked. Posting pictures of the outside view of your apartment is also an unsafe practice which needs to be avoided.”

‘Safety doesn’t happen by accident’ is something that we would all do well to remember.