Published: 28th December 2017
Completely helpless when it comes to warning perverted passengers: MTC conductors
The conductors are taught how to deal with sensitivity and to cater to the needs of women passengers. Despite that, they live in fear of being assaulted or brutally injured
"Completely helpless when it comes to warning perverted, unruly passengers"- MTC conductors
Women have been illegally photographed and stalked by men who thrive on their fear and lack of agency, but the MTC has not taken action against them since no complaints have been received, said the MTC safety manager. That isn't the worst part. These men also mention the bus routes in the video's title which is a direct threat to the safety of women, leaving them open and vulnerable to possible stalkers and molesters.
It only seems right that the MTC take some effective steps to curb this menace but when confronted with this the officials claimed that the conductors had too much workload to notice such incidents. "If the conductor does see something inappropriate he tells the girl to move away to a different part of the bus. We can't really tell the man to stop filming or leave the bus because he'll get aggressive and corner the conductor. The conductor will not be able to handle such an incident if the person gets very violent," a safety manager at MTC said.
"Sometimes the girl will wonder why the conductor is asking her to move but we do it to protect them," the manager said. Once again, women have to look out for themselves but MTC officials said that a proposal to install CCTV cameras inside buses has been submitted to the government.
The conductors claim they truly feel helpless when it comes to passengers, "No matter how much we tell passengers to not travel on the footboard, they never listen. We can't stop these school and college kids from hanging out of the buses, they refuse to let us shut the door too. When we warn them, they threaten and ask us to mind our business. When we can't stop them from standing on the footboard how can we demand to see their phones?" a conductor said.
The conductors also narrated an incident where a colleague was beaten up by a passenger, "When the conductor found that a boy was misbehaving with a girl, he stopped the bus at a police station and left him there. But ten minutes later, the police let him go so he came after the conductor, beat him up and broke his nose. At least if the police had detained him for longer, the conductor might have gone too far for the molester to catch up," one of the conductors said.
The Safety Manager said that the conductors and drivers undergo sensitivity training and are also instructed on how to handle women's harassment on buses. "We also conduct a lot of awareness campaigns on how passengers can maintain safety in buses but our focus has been on preventing accidents. We will take efforts to spread awareness on women safety as well," he said.
However, the MTC officials say that they have never received such a complaint and claim that if they had then action would have been initiated. "We are completely unaware of such incidents, if someone had brought it to our notice then we might have been able to take some steps," he explained.
But the official said that such incidents are extremely rare and said it was not a Nirbhaya-like situation,"I'm sure there are very few videos like this. If women are a little careful about what they wear and try and travel at times that are safe, it could help. And if the conductor asks them to move then they should understand that they are being told for their own safety. And if they face trouble they can make a complaint and we will try to help, the police can also provide a helpline number and guide us as to what to do," the official explained.
The official said that presently, there was no transparency as to how the case should be registered,"Our conductors cannot take the law into their hands and risk their safety. So the police can take effective steps," he said. We don't have a Nirbhya-like situation yet. True. Now, let's ensure we don't get there.