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Safety for working women in Delhi
Published on 10 Dec. 2010 12:51 AM IST
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After the recent gangrape of a BPO employee rocked the capital, Delhi Police Thursday made it mandatory for call centres and media houses to drop their women employees at their doorsteps.
The police also ordered the companies to “ensure that women employees are not made to travel alone with the cab driver during the night and a duly verified security guard is invariably deployed in each cab carrying women staff”.
It was the companies’ responsibility to ensure the safe arrival of women employees, if a cab was not provided, especially during night time, the order said, while not defining the night hours.
It further said that the route taken to pick and drop women employees should be carefully drawn up.
“Choose the route in such manner that as far as possible women employees are not the first to be picked up or the last to be dropped,” the order specified.
Employers violating the order are liable to be punished under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (Disobedience of an official order), which entails imprisonment up to six months or a fine of Rs.1,000 or both.
“Certain criminal and anti-social elements look for soft targets, particularly during the odd hours and the women employees who travel during late night hours are vulnerable to crime by such elements if they are not dropped securely and safely at their places of stay,” the order said.
The order was issued as some employers were not “properly monitoring” the cab operators hired for ferrying their workers, a senior police officer said.
On Dec 2, Delhi Police Commissioner B.K. Gupta said that women working in night shifts should be dropped at their homes and not at nearby streets. A verified security guard should drop women employees outside their gates and should wait till such time they entered their residences, Gupta added.
Towards this, Thursday’s order says: “The cab driver involved in transportation of women employees should drop them right at their houses, remain halted at the point where a woman employee has been dropped till she confirms about her arrival at her residence through a telephone call.”
On Nov 23 , A 30-year-old BPO staffer from Mizoram was abducted and raped by five men in south Delhi’s Dhaula Kuan when her cab dropped her a distance away from her home on a deserted road around 1.30 a.m.
Police had then said if the cab had stopped for a minute, she would have had to suffer her ordeal.
The order also asks employers to maintain a database of all employees, security personnel, cab drivers and contractual workers, which the police could access, besides hiring security personnel and other contractual personnel as far as possible from licensed agencies only.
“The cab drivers should not pick up any stranger or stray away from designated routes,” the order said, adding: “Employers should install GPS on their vehicles for easy tracking.”

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