Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary Thursday convened a meeting to discuss the issue of harassment of women in public transport.
The meeting discussed the measures that need to be taken to prevent it — like creating awareness about what constitutes harassment and taking prompt and strict action against instances thereof.
Members of a non-profit trust Kashmir Women’s Collective who attended the meeting shared their understanding of the depth of the problem and ideas about how it could be tackled.
The members stressed the need for a mechanism that encourages women to speak out against and report instances of sexual harassment on public transport and the importance of the administration taking strict actions which will act as deterrence and help prevent it.
The need for spreading awareness about what harassment means and an effective response mechanism was also stressed with the KWC members calling for a widespread campaign about it.
Need for the training of police personnel and drivers and conductors and having a helpline in place that will help at all times and in all circumstances was also emphasised.
Speaking on the occasion the DC said it was important that the problem was acknowledged adding that there was indeed a need for an effective response mechanism in place to deal with it.
He agreed that awareness about it was a prerequisite and assured that the district administration will do all that is required to do in that direction. He urged the KWC to join hands with the administration assuring of serious and time-bound efforts to put in place a mechanism aimed at stopping harassment of women in public transport.
SSP Traffic Tahir Gilani and SP Srinagar Majid Malik who were also present in the meeting while speaking on the occasion said the issue indeed demands attention and expressed the eagerness of their concerned departments to help and tackle it.
Others including RTO Kashmir Ikramullah Tak and ADC Srinagar K K Sidha also spoke on the occasion. The latter said the issue is a part of the larger problem of violence against women and stressed the need to resist and deal with all forms of violence. He said an initiative of the district administration which will be launched soon will do just that.
Senior officers from all concerned departments of the district were present in the meeting.