AAP Government’s initiative of making metro and buses free for women is showing itself to be a two-sided sword. While some people are coming with wholehearted support for it, many people find it a total election gimmick. With multiple factors in place, it is obvious that people are having all sorts of concerns and perspectives. Not that it is important, but here is what I think…
It will ensure safety for women
This will be true to a certain extent where the metro connectivity reaches the remote places of Delhi. However, for most of the other places, this would cause no impact at all. Additionally, it depends on the distance the traveler wants to travel and the economic status of the woman. Delhi, being a cesspool of giant economic curves among different sections of people, these free traveling allowances would ensure that a woman, who is traveling a large distance for a job that pays little and considers other transports due to the high fare in the metro would consider the safer alternative of metro now. Otherwise, it doesn’t really impact safety. Better use of the money would be investing in other safety-related initiatives like CCTVs, streetlights, etc.
It will reduce pollution
No matter how much we take pride in our efforts of reaching gender parity, women travelers are still far less compared to male travelers. This ratio reduces even further when self-transport is involved. If the thought is that it will have a direct impact on pollution control, I don’t think I agree with that.
Why just women?
This has a simple answer – Mathematics. With women travelers far less than male travelers, making public transports free for them would incur far less cost to government than providing some subsidy to everyone. Additionally, the wow factor is associated with ‘FREE’ and certainly, it is free PR!
I am a woman with equal rights, powers, and responsibilities as a man. Why should I travel free?
Most certainly, you should not. Thanks to you people, we are moving towards reaching gender equality and we request your association in the future too. Talking about now, the government has proposed that if any women want to pay for their travel, they are free to do so. Go girl power!
Why should I, a taxpayer, pay for all these election gimmicks?
I don’t think anyone has an answer to this question. Our money as taxes is one of the biggest sources for governments to fund their initiatives. And, as a citizen of India, we have every right to question an initiative which we might think as a waste. Some might argue that having the tallest statue in the world, is a great tourism boost for us, whereas a few would criticize it for being a bad investment when other issues are more important. As a democracy, it is great that we are questioning everything. This is what a healthy democracy is.