PUNE: The recent gruesome rape-murder of a veterinary doctor in Hyderabad, which is known to be one of the safest cities in India, has shaken everyone to the core. As Pune women share how they feel while travelling alone in their city, the general consensus continues to be that Pune is still seen as a much safer city as compared to several other big, as well as small cities, across the country.
However, despite the lower crime rate that hasn’t seen any sharp rise in the past several years, the women in Pune have also stated that they still do avoid going to secluded areas after dark all alone and that their parents and family members are still worried whenever they are out late at night.
AVOIDING SECLUDED AREAS
“It has been 11 years that I am residing in Pune and I feel safe while travelling at night. It may be because I know the roads very well, I know which area is crowded at night and which is not. But whenever they hear about the harrowing incidents like the one in Hyderabad, once in a while, my parents worry about me being out on the roads alone late at night,” said IT professional Shabduli Khokrale who travels late at night regularly for her work.
“And we cannot guarantee it 100 per cent that something like this will never happen in Pune. I cannot guarantee it to my parents that I will always be safe when I am alone,” said Shabduli Khokrale.
Just like Khokrale, most women prefer to stay away from secluded areas late at night to avoid any untoward incident.
City-based housewife Gauri Paranjape told Sakal Times, “I usually don’t travel alone regularly as I don’t go out to work. I feel safe in this city. However, even though I have never personally encountered any incident involving safety issues, I do take necessary precautions owing to the news about such incidents occurring everywhere around us. I avoid travelling through secluded roads and areas late at night.”
IT professional Bijal Parmar, who was born and brought up in Pune, agrees that the safety situation in the city does seem to have changed in the past decade or so. “However, I do feel safe here, despite that. It’s not that bad as compared to what we hear happening to women travelling alone at night in several other cities like Mumbai and Delhi. I prefer going home by 10-10:30 at night, as after dark, there aren’t many people on the roads in my area. And even though I have not encountered any untoward incident, I believe in taking precautions and staying alert,” Parmar said.
PUNE SAFER THAN OTHER CITIES
- “I have lived in other cities like Nagpur earlier and I can positively say that I have found Pune to be much safer,” said CA student Rucha Bhosikar. She also added that she found the presence of people as well as police on the roads at night much more than the other cities she had lived in.
- “Since I live alone here, I have travelled alone at night several times. There are always people around on the roads, shops are open, there are police patrolling cars which automatically make me feel safer. Going to Pune railway station to board a train late at night is also never an issue as the station is always full of people. It does not feel that safe in several other cities, especially the smaller cities,” Bhosikar said.