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28 Nov 2023, Edition - 3059, Tuesday

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Transport freebies evoke mixed reactions from TN women

P. Sindhu Parkavi


The talk of this week was the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s announcement that women can travel free in Delhi Metro and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses.

In Tamil Nadu this has evoked varying reactions from the women. A local daily wager Jaya said it was really a good decision. She would like it to be implemented in Tamil Nadu as it would reduce her burden.

On the other hand, Nandhini, a college student. does not believe that this plan would keep women safe. She felt that those who travel free are not respected by the bus In-charges. “When we travel by our own money we would have the confidence to question the authority if anything goes wrong. For example, students who travel on free bus passes are not respected and that’s why buses many times don’t stop to pick up the students”.

Nikitha, another college student felt that it was not such a wise plan and did not want it to be implemented in Tamil Nadu. She said that it stereotypes women as weak, not just financially but in every other way. It is odd to ask for this when all are seeking gender equality.

Sharmila, a housewife, feels that if in Tamil Nadu bus rides are made free for women, then they won’t take private vehicles which will ensure their safety.

Shanthi, a school teacher, remarked that it is not really needed for Tamil Nadu women. If Government wants to ensure safety for women, it can provide separate buses for them rather than providing free transport.

Aruna, a bank manager, felt that the plan has its pros and cons. The good thing is that women from poor families commuting to work will be helped greatly. But this would not get gender equality.

Concession, she suggested, can be given to old people and pregnant ladies. Free transport may be given to someone based on his/her income. She felt that it was better to reduce bus fares for everyone rather than providing free transport to women only.

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