Delhi Govt: Reward reporting of violence against women under the Farishte Dilli Ke Scheme

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“There were people around. But, nobody did anything.”

Haven’t we all heard this in the context of violence against women? The 2012 Delhi gang rape case where the victim was left on the road for a long time before anybody did anything or the 2017 New Year Eve incident in Bangalore where multiple women were sexually harassed while people watched are examples of the same.

The National Crime Record Bureau data shows that the rate of crime against women has risen by 7.3% in 2018-2019. According to the WINGS 2018 report, 1 in 4 adolescent girls feared that they could be abducted, physically assaulted or even raped while venturing into public spaces. In a 2013 report by UN Women and ICRW, 95% of women in Delhi reported feeling unsafe in public spaces.

Building safer spaces for women requires work on several structural and systemic levels and among them an important aspect is bystander support. The lack of positive action from bystanders is not just because they don’t care. The fear of being blamed for the violence, of getting stuck in police and legal processes are some challenges that stop people. Not knowing what to do in such situations is another hurdle!

As a woman living in Delhi, here is what I want my government to do:

In 2019, the Delhi Government launched its Farishte Dilli Ke scheme which provides a reward of Rs 2000 and a certificate of good samaritan for taking accident, acid attacks and burn injuries victims to a hospital. The samaritan will also not be liable to any questions by the police. The pilot of the scheme saw positive results with more than 3000 lives being saved through the initiative.

What if we could broaden the scope of this scheme to include cases of violence against women in public spaces? I am confident that this addition to the scheme which is already showing positive results in promoting bystander action will be a huge step in building safer spaces for women.

I demand that the Delhi Government considers my petition to encourage positive bystander action to address violence against women in public spaces. Sign my petition.