… and I’ve had several harrowing experiences


In the nine years I have lived in Bangalore, I have had to depend mostly on public transport, and I continue to do so. During this time, I have been verbally abused, ridiculed and groped in public.

Despite having an active social life, I make it a point to get back home by 10 p.m. I generally hail autorickshaws and rarely take the bus back home. Though my husband and I own a car, I depend on public transport, as I do not know how to drive.

I have had several harrowing experiences while using public transport. It is a misconception that buses are safer than autorickshaws. A few months ago, when I was pregnant, I was groped in an air-conditioned bus. When I yelled at the perpetrator, the others in the bus looked at me sceptically. Once when I was going back home in an autorickshaw after consulting my gynaecologist, the autorickshaw driver suddenly stopped at an isolated spot on the way home and demanded nearly double the auto fare. With no other option, I had to pay up. When I did not know the language, the autorickshaw drivers would make disparaging remarks about the way I dressed and how I could not speak the local language.

Over the years, I have learnt to speak Kannada and this has helped me a lot. I can now stand my ground and argue with the autorickshaw drivers. However, after my daughter came along, I generally don’t tend to stay out late.

(as told to

Chitra V. Ramani)

( This is the first of a series of articles on the perceptions of women living in Bangalore city)

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 7:08:26 AM |

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