Demand more maternity wards, safer transport amenities, special public toilets

MUMBAI: Public toilets for women at regular points in the city, separate units in hospitals for victims of domestic violence, crèches in every ward. These are some of the provisions suggested for inclusion in the city’s 20-year development plan to make the city safe for women.


24 organisations, including several individuals and Akshara, Pratham, Stree Mukti Sangathana, Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action (SNEHA), appealed to the the civic body for looking at the 2014- 2034 development plan through a ‘gender-inclusive lens’ and on June 27 sent suggestions through a letter addressed to municipal chief Sitaram Kunte , chief engineer (DP) RS Kuknur and assistant chief engineer (DP) R Balachandran.

They listed suggestions under 7 categories – livelihoods, transport, health, education, essential services, housing and public spaces. “We have recommended that the plan focus on public transport commuters, and that hawkers should not be completely removed as they are the ‘eyes on the streets’. Places such as BKC have been identified as unsafe for women, since it has no shops or hawkers,” said Nandita Shah, co-director, Akshara.

An important suggestion was creation of separate units in hospitals for women who are victims of domestic violence. “Victims of domestic violence need more than regular medical care; their socio-psychological problems also need to be addressed,” said Nayreen Daruwala from SNEHA, which runs a centre for women at Sion Hospital where they deal with such cases. Issues of women working in the informal sector, such as domestic help, hawkers and waste-pickers, have also been highlighted. “These women serve the city, and are often neglected,” said Jyoti Mhapsekar of the Stree Mukti Sanghatana.

These groups are awaiting feedback . The assistant chief engineer said that the suggestions have been forwarded to the planning cell, and a meeting will be planned soon.