BEST needs to hold proposed gender sensitisation workshops as early as possible. Here’s why.
A six months pregnant woman trying to board a crowded bus from the front door was recently denied entry by the driver, who told her she “does not look pregnant”.
Another woman seeking a similar entry with her two-year-old son was shown the rear door.
The alleged misbehaviour came to light after the women wrote to Suhas Samant, Shiv Sena leader and a member of the BEST committee, last month.
“The bus was crowded and the pregnant woman tried to board it from the front door, but the driver stopped her. When she drew his attention to her condition, he rudely told her she doesn’t look pregnant and should board the bus from the rear door like other passengers,” Samant, who heads a union of BEST employees, said at a committee meeting Wednesday.
BEST officials present at the meeting said as per norms, instructions to passengers should come from the conductor, while the driver should focus on the road.
“The general manager should issue clear instructions that drivers have no business to tell anything to passengers. All women passengers must be allowed to board buses from the front door,” Samant said.
Other committee members said BEST should ask the company in charge of installing surveillance cameras on buses to speed up the process and that there should be surprise checks.
Ashok Patil, chairman of the BEST committee, said, “I have asked the chief traffic officer and other authorities concerned to look into the complaints and speak to the drivers at fault. They will start the probe process.”
BEST recently dismissed a bus conductor for verbally abusing a woman commuter and allegedly making obscene gestures at her.
There were two complaints against Sandeep Satpute, a temporary employee of the public utility. In the first case, he was suspended for a short period.
“This is an age of technology and we still don’t have CCTVs and GPS systems on buses. All guilty can be brought to book if there are basic systems in place.
“We say Mumbai is more spirited in its approach and protective towards women, but state agencies such as police and BEST need to be more sensitive,” said Shaina NC, national executive member of BJP, a fashion designer and social activist.
The idea behind boarding from the rear is to speed up boarding and getting off the bus. The assumption is that passengers waiting to board have queued up. But, the reality is that when a bus reaches a stop, there is chaos, and people muscle their way in. Senior citizens, women and children are at a great disadvantage. If we can queue up, it would be easy and fair to everyone. Otherwise, special consideration has to be given to senior citizens, women and children.
BEST is generally very good. Media - dont make issues out of nothing please. Sometimes looking at a person you cant definitely say if she is pregnant or not - the driver cannot be blamed. I've travelled all my life on BEST - even 20 years back conductors and drivers were quite decent compared to any other city in India. So dont just fling muck on everybody. As a solution let the government give a medical card to such people. The bus driver is correct - people should board from the rear and alight from the front. Look at the mess in Pune and other cities where there is no such discipline.
CIVILITY, AND ,COURTESY... CAN ,ALWAYS BE EXTENDED ....NOTWITHSTANDING,REASONS..............?
the facility for pregnant women to board from the front is one of the most misused facilities. Everywhere when buses are crowded and men are forced to hang from the rear, women happily get in from the front even when they are not pregnant. Women also break queues and sit in seats for handicapped and don't get up when aged and handicapped people come to their seats. if they want to implement cctv to discipline drivers, use the same thing to discipline women commuters also.
U R ONE AMONG WHO WANT TO TAKE CHANCE OF WOMEN IN CROWD OR LIKE A THEIF. WHEN THERE IS CROWD AT STOP, ALL GENTS POUNCE TO GET IN THE BUS WITH FULL FORCE AND WOMEN ARE LEFT BEHIND AND EVEN IF ANY WOMEN MAKE ANY EFFORT A DEFINITE CHANCE IS TAKEN BY MEN. AT CROWDED STOPS WOMEN SHOULD BE ALLOWED FROM FRONT. DON'BE SMART.
what the hell now? will women accept it if a man tries to enter through back door and says "i am having stone and cant walk?".. leave that pregnant women stuff aside.. how about the lady with 2 year old kid? can't she walk till back door? is this the first time she is boarding a bus? you can't always blame others for "not breaking the rules".. women should board thought back door is a rule...