Holidays are meant for sheer fun and relaxation, for break-starved souls. Lately, female travelers have raised cry about their safety, given molestation, sexual assault and gang rape is on a perennial rise. India, however, is not keeping quiet, nor are victims. These criminals have to undergo rigorous punishment. Crime scene thankfully does not deter female tourists from exploring India. Keeping their spirits in mind, here are a few safety tips for women touring India.
No skin show: Dress modestly. Don a sporty look with loose tees and jeans/capris. Switch to salwar kameez to flaunt an ethnic Indian makeover. You can also opt for knee-length skirts. Use a scarf or shawl (in cold places) to cover yourself. Avoid western clothes and deep-cuts while visiting places with religious sanction. Kindly take care not to hurt sentiments of any religious community.
No to Night: Do not risk being nocturnal, unless you are in a trusted company. Indian cosmopolitans have an electrifying nightlife with posh pubs, discotheques. Return to your accommodation before darkness. In case, you choose to go out, strictly stay away from deserted stretches.
Cry out loud: Foreigners are treated as celebs in India! They are ogled at, photographed, posed with. Learn to say no. Negative nods at times are blissful. If you find yourself being clicked, raise an alarm. Avoid courtesy hugs from strangers. There are plenty of stalkers here, if you are being followed dial 100 and lodge a complaint. Indecent proposals should be brought in notice of cops.
Eat and Drink Wisely: Indian food tickles tastebuds, thanks to spices and aroma. Street food are largely munched on. You too can feast on Indian delicacies, after getting used to it. Give yourself sometime to get accustomed to the weather. Always carry a branded mineral water bottle. While clubbing, do not get drunk as you have to return to your temporary shelter. A number of unpleasant incidents arise post passing out. Goes without saying, don’t accept food or drinks from strangers. Drinking in public places is a punishable offence.
Seek ‘Privacy’: Avoid public transport, including railways. In case of overnight journey aboard trains, choose the upper berth to sleep. While traveling in bus, if you find males harassing you with verbal or physical abuse, get off or inform co-passengers. If required, you can also head to a police station. Travel in private cars of trusted travel agent.
Self defence: It does not matter if you can’t bash up a wrong-doer, teach him a lesson, Always carry pepper spray with you. It works wonders in extreme situations — causes temporary loss of sight, giving you enough space to flee. Chili flakes can serve the purpose.
Essentials: Make sure to lock your luggage. Keep VISA, passport and other identity details separately at a safe place. Switch to traveler’s check, credit or debit cards. Carry limited cash. A route map is a must. Keep your family updated about your whereabouts. Might sound rude, but treat stranger as danger!
India is the land of unity in diversity. Indians are warm and affectionate, except a few who turnout to be social menace. Abide by these basic tips for a hassle-free and pleasant stay with enchanting memories.