‘Women Safety Month’ in NCR

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) is observing February as a ‘Women Safety Month’ in NCR. This initiative is the result of the brutal gang rape case which had happened in Delhi on 16th Dec 2012. The entire programme consists of many events including 50 different activities with its core focus on women’s empowerment and safety.One of the major concerns of the IT-BPM companies involved in this program is the safety of their nearly 80,000 women employees, many out of whom work in graveyard shifts. Along with this, an AppFame contest has also been announced for developers, students and corporate. They can take part in this contest and develop mobile applications for women safety.

Every company is taking part in various activities to observe Women Safety Month in its own way. Like HCL is conducting self defense sessions and teaching its women employees to use pepper spray. Infosys is also conducting sessions similar to this kind in which employees will be taught to act and understand their surroundings before anything goes wrong. WNC is putting tremendous efforts in this program by making changes in the shift timings for its women employees. Wherever applicable women will be given earlier or morning shifts.

Commuting and transport is the biggest concern of these organizations, which pose a threat to women’s security. Way back in 2005, when I was working at HCL BPO, a friend of mine came across one such incident. Although she was going back home at 8 am, yet the cab driver tried to molest her. She resisted and next day talked to her seniors about the whole incident. Action was taken against the driver and he was immediately asked to leave the office. His services were terminated. Today to avoid such incidents GPS systems have been installed in the cabs and if the last drop is of a female employee then she is escorted by a guard. Companies maintain databases which contain fingerprints and photographs of all the cab drivers. Female employees working in HCL need to call the transport company on reaching home.If they fail to make the call then it is the duty of the shift person at transport company to make a call to the employee after an estimated time to make sure that their female employees have reached home safely.

Though all these initiatives are very good but women have to wake up and take steps themselves as companies won’t be there all the time to protect you. Earlier, the examples of women resisting minor to major molestations were less but now the scenario is changing. While commuting from office to home on local bus, I have come across many such examples where women are now displaying more courage and power to point out anything wrong. By acting like this, people may call you aggressive and hot tempered but let them talk after all it is the matter of your security not theirs.

Many smartphone apps have also been developed after that incident. Though these are meant for your security but please do not wait for the last moment and be proactive in self defense and using these apps.

  • Nirbhaya
  • Fightback
  • Sentinel
  • Circle of 6
  • YMCA Safety Siren

Hope sustains life and may our hope of having a secure and safe India come true.