Tomorrow night, social organisations will ask people to board the last bus home, sing on the way, and say what they want

Men and women in the Capital will stake their claim to public spaces and public transport this Thursday night as they assemble to board the “last bus” home.

An initiative of three social organisations Jan Sanskriti, Janwadi Lekhak Sangh and Bangla Manch and two theatre groups Jana Natya Manch and Act One, the “9.30 Ki Aakhiri Bus” (the last bus at 9-30) encourages people to get on to the last bus and travel. And while they do so, they can sing, recite poetry, exhibit art works or simply hold up a placard to say what they want, without disturbing fellow travellers or disrupting the service.

“The idea is a variation of a flash mob,” said Sudhanva Deshpande of the Jan Natya Manch theatre group, one of the organisers of the initiative. He said the idea germinated from the ongoing public debate and protests over the lack of security for women in the city as well as from the inadequate public transport facilities for people.

“During our discussions about the gang-rape that occurred on a bus on December 16, it came up that if there had been a bus run by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) on that fateful night, the girl and her friend wouldn’t have been on that private bus. So, the idea of the initiative is also to focus attention on the absence of a regular bus service at night. We were shocked to learn that the last bus leaves as early as 9-30 p.m.,” he said.

Mr. Deshpande said the initiative is also aimed at raising questions about the “system”. “We want to go beyond the mere symbolic. We want to help people and this is about men as well. Even men need a proper public system to travel on; any self respecting city must have a well worked out public transport system,” Mr. Deshpande said.

People have been invited to gather at Shivaji Stadium bus terminus by 9.15 p.m. “There are five buses that leave from Shivaji Stadium terminus between 9.30 to 9.40 p.m., people can travel on any of these buses or simply on the routes that suit them,” he said.

The routes that have been suggested for the initiative include 317 to Shahdara, 620 to Hauz Khas, 910 to Sayyed Gaon, Paschim Vihar, 990 to Rithala and 957 to Budh Vihar, near Mangolpuri.

More In: Delhi