A two-week programme is on in Bengaluru to make public spaces welcoming. It is the initiative of a young police officer, Isha Pant. NDTV spoke to her at the city's Silk Board Junction, one of the places identified for the programme.
"The idea behind this programme is to make our Bangalore city more inclusive and safer. So we did an audit and found eight places where women felt unsafe after dark moving alone. Our idea is to make these places safer by changing the ecosystem of the place by including the local public in it. By not preaching but by getting all of them together with us. We are using music, dance, games... It is important that women reclaim public spaces and we all come out and show our strength," Ms Pant said.
The police department is not doing this alone.
"We have collaborated with BBMP (civic agency) and several NGOs. BBMP will be providing us infrastructure like lights and good footpaths. I am hoping that by spending 14 days in a place we are able to change the ecosystem. To MLAs, people realise this is our Bengaluru. Namma Bengaluru," Ms Pant said.
Sharada, a social worker, said, "This programme should happen everywhere. With this programme, awareness will be increased and fear should go away... Even before safety measures, we should have self-confidence. There should be CCTV cameras. We should take the help of the public, but we need the police too."
Pushpa, another woman at the event, told NDTV, "We want CCTV camera and police protection."
The efforts will continue even after the two weeks of this initiative are over. "To keep the momentum going after two weeks, we plan to organise events every now and then in such places. Creating active, not passive, bystanders so that if something happens, people take action. It is a long-term process. Change always takes time," said the police officer.
The events are also presenting a different side to the police force - and should hopefully make people turn to them for help more easily.
"People are happy to see a different face of the police where we are playing with them. Singing along with them. Dancing along with them. And in this process, creating awareness... This is what is needed to create friendly police which people can trust," Ms Pant said.