Woman seat reservations in public transport: Did we fail to understand?
Few weeks ago, as most of the population of Kathmandu does, I also was travelling using a public vehicle. My destination being Kalanki, I got on the bus on Balkot-kalanki route. As I struggled my way into the bus, I saw a unusual reservation provided on the bus. The bus has provision for two “mother-of-an-infant” seat reservation. According to the law, public transport should have at least two seat reservation for women, one for elderly, and four seats for differently-abled. I looked around in surprise as the “mother-of-an-infant” reservation was a very new concept to me. I managed my way deep into the crowded bus alley and was still trying to make something out of that reservation. As usual the bus was brim packed and few young ladies were having a hard time standing.
A survey conducted in 2013 by the world bank group with australian aid pointed out that 33% of woman felt personal insecurities in public transport. The survey also noted 26% of the entire survey of women aged 19-35 years had had direct experience of inappropriate touching on public transport in the year 2012. The number itself is disappointing but the condition has not improved. The condition has worsened since the survey has been conducted. Those aren’t the only concern to women on public vehicle. Biologically most women are fragile and more susceptible to fatigue and fainting. Also statistically more female are found to be suffering from arthritis. Also all women need to experience menstruation once a month and that also comes with different short term problems. Not forgetting pregnancy also puts woman in a position where she can’t manage to stand in such crowded vehicles.
Considering all these factors as an inevitable problem mostly exclusive to women, female seat reservation seemed to be justified. But is that all that concerns to a society? If woman seat reservation was really effective solving the problem why did the “Kalanki-Balkot” route felt the necessity to explicitly define seat for “mother-of-an-infant”? That should have come under the woman seat reservation and should have managed the problem. Did we fail to understand the reservation?
The need for female seat reservation in public vehicle clearly shows the problem is not just about how difficult public transportation is but how undisciplined and immoral our society is. Female seat was allocated for women in need. But somehow those who need it are still struggling as they cannot voice their need and we don’t have the morality to acknowledge something that directly won’t affect us. Not only that, but the seat reservation has brought about general air of mistrust between the genders. As long as there is provision for female seat reservation on a fully packed bus no “male” on the bus feel obliged to give up their seat for a female in actually need.
The segregation of seat was supposed to be like, female seat reserved and rest of the seats are general where any gender will have equal rights. But the misunderstood reservation has made it so that as long as the female seat is empty any woman to climb the bus should occupy only that seat just so another seat remains empty for a “male”. That wasn’t the original purpose of the seat. I have barely seen a person having a second thought before taking up the elderly reserved, or differently-abled reserved. The reservation meant the same to all categories but the fact that female reservation is taken as an act of gender inclusion more than the solution to the problem of woman difficulties in travel goes out and shows the ignorance prevailing in the society.
When a person get on a bus and see two female seating on the woman reserved seat, we assume that our responsibility towards any other female to climb the bus has ended. If a public vehicle has just two seats where woman can have comfortable journey without the fear of being harassed and misbehaved, we failed as a society. The reservation is provided to give woman in need an easier travel but the real solution for all woman would be; a society where all the people in the vehicle recognize the need of another and is willing to help irrespective of their gender. Next time you see a woman with an infant standing in the bus, don’t wait for the girl in woman seat to stand. Have an experience to share with us? Tell us in the comment.
Appeal to come together against “Nijgadh Airport Project”
Group of climate-conscious youths from Kathmandu is organizing a peaceful protest in front of UN House of Nepal, Hariharbhawan to raise voice for urgent climate action and highlight special concern for the destruction of more than 2.4 million trees in Nijgadh forest.
Dear Fellow Nepalese,
We are writing this letter to invite you to join us at the demonstration program for Global Climate Strike. On September 27, we will be hosting a demonstration program at Harihar Bhawan, Lalitpur near UN House Nepal and at the Swiss Embassy. It will be a peaceful demonstration highlighting concerns of the youth towards the cause.
Greta Thunberg, then a 15-year-old Swedish teen, sat alone outside the Parliament on 20th August 2019 demanding urgent climate justice. This was the first school strike that inspired the movement of Fridays for Future. Fridays for future has now become an international movement students and young activists who take time off from class to participate in demonstration to demand action to prevent further global warming and climate change.
From September 20 to 27, 2019, Fridays for Future, the youth climate strike movement and all the international friends and allies, called for Global Climate Strike to demand more aggressive action from their governments and the international community.
According to 350.org, there were over 2,500 events scheduled in over 163 countries only on the 20th of September. The 20 September protests were likely the largest climate strikes in world history. Organizers reported that over 4 million people participated in strikes worldwide, including 1.4 million participants in Germany. An estimated 300000 protesters took part in Australian strikes, a further 300000 people joined UK protests and New York protesters numbered roughly 250000. More than 2000 scientists in 40 countries pledged to support the strikes.
In Nepal, we have been trying to follow the same zeal and enthusiasm that Greta laid foundations to. We’ve been protesting with students from different schools and colleges since August 23, 2019. We are independent students group represented as @HarinNepal on Instagram and @Oxygenismybirthright on Facebook and we’ve had 5 successful peaceful demonstrations so far. All of them covered national and international environmental issues that affect climate change and we had our special concern on Nijgadh Forest Issue.
There have been few big and small demonstrations in different cities like Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Butwal. Student groups and organizations such as Harin Nepal, Kathmandu Climate Save, People’s Alliance for Nature Nepal, Kaalo.101, Kor Art Collective, Nepal Youth for Climate Action, Powershift Nepal, Himalayan Climate Initiative, Green Yeti, Sakha Nepal, etc. have all been coordinating these demonstrations in solidarity for the cause in different parts of Nepal.
Nijgadh International Airport Project will have an irreversible effect on the forest and wildlife. 23 mammal species, 10 reptile species, 31 bird species and a total of 333 plant species of which 22 are endangered in the Bara region alone will be directly affected by the destruction of Nijgadh Forest.
On the 27th of September, a demonstration has been called on in front of the UN House of Nepal, Hariharbhawan, Lalitpur. This demonstration organized in collaboration with Harin Nepal, Kathmandu Climate Save, People’s Alliance of Nature Nepal, Kaalo.101 and Kor Art Collective will raise voice for urgent climate action and highlight special concern for the destruction of more than 2.4 million trees in Nijgadh forest. There is an open invitation for any individuals or groups who share the same sentiment towards nature, environment, and future to come stand together in solidarity for the cause.
Nijgadh International Airport Project will have an irreversible effect on the forest and wildlife. 23 mammal species, 10 reptile species, 31 bird species and a total of 333 plant species of which 22 are endangered in the Bara region alone will be directly affected by the destruction of Nijgadh Forest. Our future can definitely not afford this amount of loss in biodiversity, carbon sequestration, oxygen release, naturally occurring forest nutrients and loss of non-timber forest products. To proceed with this project hints for some very sketchy hidden motives as 7 more alternatives have been listed by the government from the study do done since 1990.
As a concerned student and youth, we are all raising our voices in unison to fight against such a ruthless crime against nature and our future. The demonstration will take place from 2 pm to 4 pm on Friday, 27th September.
We hope you will join us at the demonstration and help the voices of students and youth towards the cause be heard all over Nepal.
People’s Alliance for Nature Nepal / Harin Nepal / Kathmandu Climate Save / Kaalo.101 / Kor Art Collective / The Youth Voices of Nepal
My Story: Misuse of power by an officer from Nepal Police
From the Facebook wall of Mr. Ravi Kumar, an apparent victim of cops mistreatment and abuse of power. Mr. Kumar is founder of Code For Nepal.
From the Facebook wall of Mr. Ravi Kumar, an apparent victim of cops mistreatment and abuse of power. Mr. Kumar is founder of Code For Nepal. He and his wife Mitchell cofounded Code for Nepal, an organization aiming to increase digital literacy and use of big data in the country. To that end, they have launched nepalmap.org last year to make data on the country more accessible. Kumar has helped rebuild more than 25 schools in the remote villages of Nepal.
Last night a cop hit my arm and threatened to arrest me for taking a video in a public place in Nepal.
I was waiting for my ride in Kathmandu when I heard a traffic cop and a young man shouting at each other. A few pedestrians were watching. There were other cops too. (more…)
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