BUDGAM: For most girl students from this central district, the slogans of ‘Beti Bachaw Beti Padhao’ sound hollow, as the slogan and the crores of rupees spent on the scheme “haven’t changed the ground situation” for them.
The slogans are written all over, but “we don’t even have proper bus facilities to schools and colleges,” students, who talked to Kashmir Reader, said.
Instead they have to travel in overcrowded buses and minibuses, where harassment is a daily routine.
Women students from Degree College Magam told Kashmir Reader that they face lot of inconvenience and harassment, as they have to stand in overcrowded buses for 15 to 20 kilometer journey.
“Had they (authorities) ever been sincere and sensitive to end this menace, they would have definitely increased the number of buses according to the ratio of the students in educational institutes,” a student said. “That could have reduced the possibility of harassment of females.”
A school teacher, Shaista Khan added that facing harassment in public transport was a daily routine for women, “but the distressing thing is that nobody dares to speak”.
“In overcrowded buses, the ill-minded people know they can go unseen and can’t be caught. The irony is when a girl raises voice, she is targeted for not covering her head or criticised for wearing modern clothes,” Shaista said.
She added that not only the young girls, but elderly working women or housewives also face harassment in crowded buses.
Another student of Girls Higher Secondary School Magam added that, besides harassment, “there is not even proper timing of buses for students, because of which students get late for schools”.
The situation is same in the evening and most of the precious time is wasted waiting for the buses, she added.
Students said the government should make a strategy to sort out their problems and help make their journey secure, safe and comfortable.