Residents of Mangolpuri area in Outer Delhi can boast that their locality is completely safe for women. And it has been possible due to the number of ‘safe houses’ in the vicinity, where a woman can walk in at anytime if she feels unsafe or threatened. All that the they have to do is to knock on the door of any one of the houses that has ‘Surakshit Shehar’ (safe city) neon logo on them.
Plan India, an NGO started this initiative by demarcating around 100 houses in five blocks in Mangolpuri as safe houses, by stamping neon logos on them. Women can seek help from these houses at any time during day or night. The neon logos help them to spot a safe house very easily.
The NGO has trained the residents of these houses on how to respond when woman knocks seeking help. First they are supposed to ensure the victim’s security saving her from immediate harm, then they are suppose to attract other people in the neighbourhood and one of them is supposed to dial the police for help. They are not supposed to deal with harassers by themselves.
According to the people of the neighbourhood, after these safe houses came into being, the eve-teasers and goons have stopped loitering in the nearby area. The houses have been selected in a way that at least one member is at home all the time.
The residents of the safehouses have been validated that they are reliable people by another NGO called AV Baliga Memorial Trust.
Plans are going on to make 100 houses in South Delhi’s Madanpur Khadar as safe houses. Mangolpuri and Madanpur have been selected because of the high rate of crime against women in those areas. The local police has backed this initiative and have been coordinating with the organisers of the project.
Vikramjit SIngh, DCP (Outer) has told The Hindu, “Since the residents of these safe houses will eventually contact the police, we have ensured that there is good liaison between the residents and the beat constables in these areas.”
The Logical Indian applauds this initiative by the residents of Mangolpuri. This is indeed an unique and noble initiative that will prove to be a milestone in curbing the rates of crime against women. We urge residents of every state to come up with more such initiatives that will prove to be helpful for women in our country.