Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's announcement that all women in the capital city will soon be allowed to take buses, ride the metro free of cost has triggered a huge debate on Twitter. The Delhi government has reached out to citizens for direct feedback on the subject.
"Public transport is considered the safest for women and keeping that in mind, the government had decided that all buses and the metro will be made free for women," Mr Kejriwal had said adding that the move will be launched in three months.
What followed the announcement was an intense debate on social media. Word on the ongoing discourse soon got to the Dialogue and Development Commission or DDC, an advisory body to the Delhi government.
"Great to see a real debate on a real issue affecting the safety and mobility of women in this country. On behalf of Delhi govt, @DDC_Delhi is collating all comments/suggestions for effective implementation of this policy. Write to us at email@example.com #DelhiMetro," the vice chairperson of the DDC Jasmine Shah tweeted.
The chief minister, while making the announcement, said the Delhi government would bear the cost of free rides for women on the metro and public buses. However, those willing to buy tickets are free to do so, they need not take the subsidy. Several women can afford these modes of transport. Those who can afford it, can buy tickets and forgo subsidy so others could benefit, Mr Kejriwal had clarified.
While some users, both men and women, questioned the intentions behind the announcement, the move was welcomed by many others.
Women in Delhi will get a free ride on buses and the metro. What a wonderful idea @ArvindKejriwal ! Will Mumbai emulate this? All the trouble we are going through for the construction of the metro will then be worth it.— Pritish Nandy (@PritishNandy) June 3, 2019
Congratulations to Delhi CM @ArvindKejriwal for making it free for women to travel in the #DelhiMetro & #DTC buses. This is a positive progressive step. Also sir, kindly ensure the buses ply thru the night thus ensuring convenience & safety for all.— Tehseen Poonawalla (@tehseenp) June 3, 2019
Free ride for women in Delhi Metro and DTC buses. My views:-— RishiKesh Yadav (@rishikeshlaw) June 3, 2019
1.Very good step
2. No burden on exchequer.
3. Poor woman and working women with lesser salary will be benifited.
4.Metro is much more safer than other public transport.
5.Those who wants equality can pay.
Also, as a woman if you think this move is not for you, @ArvindKejriwal gives you the golden opportunity to buy your own ticket.— harish iyer (@hiyer) June 3, 2019
If you are a privileged woman, Arvind acknowledges your privileges and has ensured that you have the right to exchange it for a ticket.
The move was criticised by many who called for better security instead of free rides.
With all due respect, women in Delhi didn't ask for a free pass to ride when they voted for Kejriwal ji, they had voted for the safe environment promised to them. https://t.co/5AtSuFKFzt— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) June 3, 2019
Women in Delhi, and I'm being one, can pay for their tickets. Why are we being treated like some inferior creature unable to pay for what is a basic necessity. We asked for safer roads. If you think making things free equates safety, I cry for your common sense.— Komal Yadav (@dilindelhi) June 3, 2019
While the Delhi government said the move is an attempt to make Delhi safer for women, it was dismissed by BJP as an election strategy ahead of state polls next year.
Delhi recorded the highest rate of crimes against women in India, according to the most recent federal crime records data released in 2017.
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