Radio campaign aims to make Delhi safer haven

New Delhi, Mar 2 (IANS) "Dilli Meri Hai", a special radio campaign is aimed at helping women - from housewives to working women to students, feel safe in enjoying life in the capital - be it in a park, movie hall or at a market place, fearlessly.

Following the wide media coverage of a 23-year-old girl, who was gang-raped and brutally assaulted in Delhi in a moving bus Dec 16, the capital has been repeatedly called the 'most unsafe city for women'.

This needs to change, says Akash Banerjee, programming head of Radio Mirchi, the FM station hosting the initiative.

"We don't say that with the campaign, we will change the face of Delhi. But an attempt can be made. Women have every right to visit a park in their neighbourhood or go to a market late night out. But they can't even enjoy these little joys alone or even with someone, without fear," Banerjee told IANS.

In the first phase of the drive, Radio Mirchi worked towards increasing the 'safety quotient' of Delhi's parks. The station's popular radio jockey Anant took listeners to Japanese Park at Rohini earlier this month.

"We have a lot of wonderful parks in the capital, but women are scared to go there alone. They become spots of gambling and drinking for men in the day, and there is no policing. There is a lost charm about the parks.

"So, in the first phase, we wanted to look at reclaiming the parks for some safe leisure time for women. It is sad that there are no beat constables at these parks, and in the evenings, people can be spotted taking drugs or drinking alcohol. How will women feel safe," said Banerjee.

In the second phase, the listeners gathered at Connaught Place's Central Park to make their voices heard so that market places become safer.

"Something as basic as markets are also unsafe for women. There are liquor shops in almost all markets, and petty, local goons, whose only purpose is, 'Let's go to trouble women, touch them and comment on them.' So, markets aren't safe at all. Why can't women walk around freely after 11 p.m. or even before that," said Banerjee.

In the third phase of the campaign, which happens to co-incide with the International Women's Day March 8, the station wants to emphasise women's need to enjoy a movie "safely".

"Every woman and person has the right to watch a movie or have a good time! We are even offering 100 movie tickets, 100 free dinner meals and vouchers for girls," he added.

The campaign might extend to other spots too, considering its impact and response from listeners.

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