An Inclusive Future?

 What does an inclusive future means? Why do we need one? Don’t we have an inclusive present? We have a constitution which bars any sort of discrimination on whatever basis, calling for an inclusive world. However, it is not always easy to bring words into action. Laws can be made, actions can be supervised, in the end, somehow, everything narrows down to mindsets. An inclusive future, the subject of the article, reflects on creation of space for people of all age and genders to live – without being crippled with fear of being attacked, talked down upon, with the freedom to move without any fear, with the freedom to live. The article throws light on how the urban planning has somehow failed to plan the spaces with respect to all the genders, hindering their growth.

As pointed by many, “Planned by men, for men”, cities have failed to take into account the safety of women while commuting – which in turn tend to cripple their movement and education rights. Crimes on the streets are only increasing, public transport has in not-so subtle ways proved to be a nightmare for the women – the groping, catcalling, and intrusion of space. Studies have brought out that the fear of being harassed while commuting or being away from home, in an unfamiliar land with a high possibility of facing molestation, girls choose nearby places to study, undermining their quality of education. Even while commuting for jobs, those working in call centers, specifically night shift is compelled to keep some sort of weapons for their safety. This is not supposed to be the case – women are not supposed to be weaponized while moving. Researches have pointed out that the deserted streets, dark spots, high walls tend to discourage their movement. The lack of last mile connectivity is another obstacle.

However, efforts are being made to incorporate the perspective of females, to create space for them outside their home. There are women coaches in the metro, reserved seats in the bus, emergency help switch, female cab and bus drivers, female police forces and other such forces allocated to ensure the safety of women. There are various applications designed specifically to give a sense of safety to women while traveling. Application such as Saftipin has been designed to understand the safety levels based on lightning and public transport. Himmat application launched by Home Minister in 2015 is an emergency service app, allowing the user to add emergency contact who can be sent the location of the distress – more like a distress signal. Although there are applications designed to aid women, there is a need for being prepared on the part of the particulars. Classes such as self-defence can come in handy, awareness on the part of women is important. Being aware of their surroundings, as well as laws, rules and regulations can help us all in combating the jeopardizing of our safety.

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