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Buses In India Get Panic Buttons To Curb Violence Against Women

Anokhi DIY Anokhi Today Breaking News & Sports World Jun 04, 2016

A new law in India has ordered that buses be equipped with panic buttons for women. The change is all part of the aftermath of the 2012 gang rape in New Delhi.

23-year-old Jyoti Singh was gang-raped in the back of a bus in December 2012. Her death brought on an uproar of protest across India and around the world.

Indian parliament responded by starting to implement tougher laws against sex crimes and addressing violence against women. 

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Part of those tougher laws are buses in India getting fitted with panic buttons along with other emergency measures to prevent sexual violence. The safety devices have already been installed in 10 luxury buses and 10 regular buses as a pilot project. Older buses are getting the installations in phases.

The law came into effect to prevent sexual violence and due to an alarming amount of rape, an issue that's widespread across the country. 

The National Crime Records Bureau reported that a total of 32,077 cases of rape (more than one per hour) occurred in India back in 2015.

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Sehjo Singh, a representative of the anti-poverty group ActionAid India, said that more women are openly discussing sexual harassment and violence because of incidents like the Jyoti Singh rape case.

"I think that was the point after which there were attempts by the government to address violence against women," Singh told Al Jazeera. "What the government needs to do is restore the faith of the people. So far, our experience is that new mechanisms and institutions are created, but there is no follow-up."

Singh stresses that it's not just new laws that are necessary but also follow-up action. "If I press the panic button, what happens after? This is very important," she said.

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Other campaigners agree with Singh's notion that, while preventative measures are key, results also depend on the actual implementation of laws that will protect women. 

Annie Raja, general secretary of the National Federation of Indian Women, said, "Instead of addressing the real issue, the new law will only serve to monitor women in the name of protection and safety."

"India is a country with patriarchal social values and thinking," Raja told Al Jazeera. "So, we don't consider women as equal citizens."

Raja also reiterates that there are already laws protecting women but the implementation is "not happening."

Will the new panic buttons make a difference? Let us know your thoughts and comments below.

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Nomaan Khan

Nomaan Khan


After spending some time in a completely different field, Nomaan decided to drop it all and switch to Mohawk College to pursue his longtime interest in the world of Journalism. His experience working in multimedia platforms has helped him develop exceptional skills in thinking on his ...


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