The Internet makes a lot of things possible. But for making a real world impact, especially in countries like ours, it’s seen as a useless tool. And that is why a recent e-mail struck us as worth writing about.
Amala Dasarathi, a 12th standard student just got the Bangalore Metro Transport Corporation (BMTC) to act on her petition on Change.org to make city buses safer for women. The petition gathered over 50,000 signatures and a bit of press.
Citing a rise in sexual harassment of women in buses, Dasarathi asked the BMTC to display a womens helpline number on buses so that such cases can be reported.
We request you to ensure that women’s helpline numbers are clearly displayed on all the buses and take other steps to improve the safety of women. Displaying the numbers will be the first step in making buses safer for women. A simple step like this will build confidence in women and let them know that they have help at hand in case of trouble.
The petition caught the attention of an English daily which called up officials at BMTC. Soon enough, BMTC director Kumar Pushkar wrote back to the petitioners saying that the BMTC has taken actions to prevent such cases.
He wrote that besides reserving separate seats for women, the BMTC has put in place a helpline number. He also said that the bus operator has also given sensitization training to its employees and that it has installed 500 CCTV cameras in buses.
This is clearly a great example of how online petitions have started working in the country!