GUWAHATI, April 22 - Women from different walks of life in Guwahati, where the main contest in the Lok Sabha elections will take place tomorrow between two female candidates, emphasised that women’s safety must be ensured at all times and in every part of the city.
Speaking to this correspondent, Anupa Lahkar, who teaches at Gauhati University, said, “In Guwahati there is an urgent need to develop the public transport system by installing all kinds of modern safety measures. Women, of all ages, are not safe particularly inside city buses. Moreover, there is much more to do in strengthening the police department with proper system and planning.”
“In Guwahati, a large number of women work as labourers in the unorganised sector and their living condition is below standard. There is a need to assure basic amenities for them. Again, according to data revealed by various surveys, the rate of malnutrition, anaemia and other health issues are remains serious threats for womenfolk in Assam. Our MPs will have to look into these issues,” she said.
Echoing the same sentiments, writer Maini Mahanta said, “There is an urgent need to carry out gender sensitisation among officials of the Assam Police. I came to know about various incidents in which officials of some police stations, even in the city, behaved badly with victims of sexual harassment. Again, the government should make martial arts training compulsory for all girl students of Assam, along with proper security arrangements, streetlights and public toilets.”
Mamoni Borthakur, a working woman of Guwahati, said, “Women of Assam need motivation to utilise their talents. Not merely in handicraft, our women can rise in other skills too if the government implements some schemes to encourage them.”
“In Guwahati, the literary rate among women living in slum areas is still very low. The government should look into the matter by implementing some schemes for their development. Today, all government schemes are implemented by the departments concerned with a Statewide strategy. But, as far as women’s issues are concerned, we need area-based focus because problems of women are different in different areas,” said Juli Kakoty, a social activist of the city, said.
Jutika Barua, a woman journalist of the city, stressed that a clear vision is needed in every government scheme aimed at women empowerment.
“In Guwahati, there is also need of a survey to detect multiple issues relating to women,” she added.