Tuesday, February 09, 2010

No heroics, only dirty look for the young girls

No heroics, only dirty look for the young girls

Monica Jha



The way so many liquor shops and bar-cum-restaurants operate 24x7 in Gandhinagar area has become a cause of concern for the residents in the area.
This place, where residential and commercial segments mingle, has been denied (or defied) modern amenities.
"In the civic scheme of things, Gandhinagar is the bus stand and market which are bound to be crowded and, therefore, dirty," says Raj Selva who runs a photocopy stall near the Kempegowda bus stand.
"The heart of Gandhinagar is outright dirty. I don't walk in the area I live. I ask my brother to drop me to college. For other things, I avoid going out. I depend on my brother to get me snacks or ice-cream in the evenings as I find it hard to swallow anything with so many pairs of eyes staring at me," says Mamta Kothari, a BBM student and resident of Gandhinagar.
Mamta echoes the general consensus. "It is not a nice feeling and, believe me, not a good idea to have a bar next door. We have people standing, sitting and lying on the road till late in the night. There is no sense of privacy. I cannot stand in the balcony, I cannot go to the terrace and I cannot step out of the house late in the evenings," says Srividya M, a BSc student.
"A fight breaks out in our neighbourhood every day for no reason. You have drunk people shouting, fighting, abusing and throwing up all over the place. It is disgusting," says Vishal Jain, a young businessman.
The problem not only affects the people in the neighbourhood but also those who visit the commercial areas. The Majestic bus station (Kempegowda bus stand) in the area, which is visited by lakhs of people, gives a crude and disturbing picture of civic neglect.
"I get down at Majestic and walk home taking the subway from Majestic to Gandhinagar every day. I've been doing this daily for the last six years and I still dread the 10 minutes inside it. I can't explain my fear but any girl can understand it when she walks here," says Rishita Sharma, a final year student of engineering and resident of Gandhinagar.
"The entire place smells of cheap alcohol. You never know who would bump into you the next moment. I hate going to Majestic and never take a bus. But I can't use my car to go to the nearby shop. So sometime, I need to cross the bars on the way. But I'm always afraid somebody may misbehave with me. Many of my neighbours have faced such problems," says Laksmi Mahadev, an MBA student.
"I leave home with the glass of my car window rolled up. I cannot take my daughter for a walk. I do not want her asking uncomfortable questions," says Prerana Suman, a young mother and resident of Seshadripuram.
"Our parents are scared as the area does not look safe," says Namitha Shankar, an MBA student and resident of Gandhinagar.

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