New Delhi: There are many efforts being made to improve the safety measures for women in Delhi but foreign women tourists continue to be wary regarding their safety while travelling to India. It is the “discomfort with voyeuristic behavior” in Delhi which is pointed by foreign women tourists as a consistent nag in an otherwise pleasant stay in the city.
“If you ask for any help or guidance, often you may get over-friendly response from men in Delhi which can be disturbing apart from the routine of leering glances,” says a woman tourist from Australia.
Suzy, a first-time tourist from United States, laments her experience which has not been pleasant so far in Delhi. “People, especially auto and cab drivers, street vendors and passers-by display unwarranted attention and try to befriend foreign women. They even try to indulge in inappropriate touching,” says Suzy.
“It is quite odd when you find people staring at you simply because you are fair-skinned. I even carry pepper spray for my safety and avoid wearing short dresses, Indian outfits work the best,” adds a woman tourist from Britain.
“There is a steady rise in the number of foreigners but there are lesser number of women tourists registering, it could be because there is wariness about the safety of women in the city,” says Dipankar, a travel agent.
The latest report of Ministry Of Tourism (2014-15) has shown the growth of 10.6% in Foreign Tourists Arriva l(FTA), which is higher than the medium growth of 4.6%. “Foreign tourism has grown tremendously and we are ensuring safety and security for women by providing ‘Incredible India Helpline’, this service will be available as toll free on telephone 1800111363 or a short code 1363,” says an official in the ministry of Tourism.
DCP OP Mishra offers the Delhi Police view on this. He points out that there is no neglect on such complaints.“Police is creating awareness among women tourists that they can report any incidents of harassment and we are also talking about extending the `Himmat’ app to foreign tourist women apart from Delhi women”.