"There's always a great deal of insecurity, basically because Delhi has the reputation as the crime capital of the country, especially against women. My daughter has grown up in a liberal atmosphere, and that's why she's not scared to go out alone, or dress in a way that might be considered forward by the rest of society," she says in her home in Guwahati. And then, in a sign of how seriously she takes this, "I make sure she carries a can of pepper spray in her bag."
Bobita's fear is not unwarranted. In the latest case of crime against young women from the North East in Delhi, a 19-year-old girl from Nagaland was murdered. An IIT student has allegedly confessed to killing her because she didn't welcome his interest in her.
Students from the North East say they're tired of voicing the same concerns: that they're discriminated against, and treated like foreigners in their own country. "I am from Manipur. The moment we land there we are called Chinkies. A sense of alienation sets in. Maybe that's why we are such vulnerable targets," says Marina.
Others say that they have accepted that they are vulnerable, and have changed their lifestyle. Not something they're happy about, but they're resigned to the fact that safety must come first.
"We must stay within our limitations, sometimes we go overboard ,to go out for coffee at three am is not sensible," comments Sanyukta, a student from Guwahati.