Thursday, 4 April 2013

Mumbai you are mine But am I urs?

23 years back I was born in the city of dreams, the city of Bollywood, in the city that never sleeps, in the city which was then called Bombay by my Grandfather and is now called Mumbai by my brother! I have literally grown up in the lap of this city. It taught me to think rationally, it taught me to keep moving come what may, it gave me the privilege to dream big, it gave me a chance to fall in love with the vast beautiful sea that encircles it and lastly it made me a tough woman. The past 23 years have seen me hopping in and out of the city. But whenever I was away from this city I would feel something missing from my almost perfect life.


Living in a different city made me realize how lucky I was to grow up in Mumbai. I did my engineering from Pune and though overall it is a safe city, commuting is a big issue. The public transport is in a bad state and to top it all, Men don't have any chivalry towards women. They shamelessly sit on the reserved seats and blatantly refuse to get up. On the contrary, in Mumbai we see that generally men do not occupy the seats which are reserved for women or if seated they get up on requesting.

Albeit Mumbai being better than other cities, it still has scope for improvement. We still have incidents of eve teasing, molestation and acid attacks happening in the trains, buses, rickshaws and on the roads. As a Woman, it’s also important to stay alert and aware when the surroundings seem to be dubious. In case of mishaps while traveling in public transport systems, make use of the helpline numbers. 

I had once asked a male friend, “Is Mumbai safe for women?” He instantly replied YES. I then asked him “Do you think I can go to a beach unaccompanied post 10pm to enjoy the tranquility? Do you think I can watch a movie alone? Do you think it is okay if I go on a long drive at late night?” He replied “You can go to the beach and for the  drive in the day time and why would you want to watch a movie alone, I can tag along.”

Mumbaikars how can Safety be subjective? How can the definition of what is safe be one thing at night and something else in the morning? Why can’t we have a Mumbai which is safe 24*7 and a Mumbai which is safe in every nook and corner? I want to see a Mumbai where every Woman is respected, cared for and loved, irrespective of the fact that she is somebody else’s daughter, mother, sister or wife. I want to see a Mumbai where every Woman is Liberal and Free.

Generally when we think of Women and Mumbai we fail to focus on issues other than Safety like Sanitization, Education and Health. Unlike Men, women need proper toilets to pee and they can’t attend the natures call in open grounds. Currently, the Public toilets are not everywhere and the ones that are there are hardly clean.  We need hygienic public toilets at lot many locations.

Let there be Equality

Year after year Mumbai has seen girls clearing toughest entrance exams and higher percentage of girls topping board exams but still when it comes to giving them the freedom to choose their career path we fail. Only educating them is not enough. There are 2 other things that equally important: 
  1. No gender discrimination in Education. 
  2. Freedom to choose their Career Path.
So what if she is a girl and wants to become a wildlife photographer, so what if she is a girl and wants to become a pilot, so what if she is a girl and wants to enter politics to bring in a social reform? Treat her equally as you treat your son. Let her dream and let her strive to make her dreams come true.

Say No to Female Foeticide

As per the data compiled by the Brihanmumbai Muncipal Corporation (BMC), the sex ratio at birth for 2012 stood at 922 girls per 1000 males. Although India is progressing in the fields of science and technology, when it comes to accepting the women equally as men we fail miserably. There are still cases of female foeticide prevailing in Mumbai. There still exist families which pressurize a woman to give birth to a boy only because he would take forward their family name. There are still hospitals in Mumbai which carry out the illegal sex determination process. Government and Judiciary system have done their bit by creating stringent laws for such mal practitioners. We as citizens should now come out with the information of such erring professionals and alert the police.

Last but the most important concern is the health issues Women face. Cardiovascular diseases, Osteoporosis, Breast Cancer and Menopause are some health related issues found in increasing number of women from Mumbai and all over the world.  A lot of women fail to take the precautionary measures and a lot others lack awareness. Regular full body checkups should be a must from an age as early as 30 years.  Also, we must spread awareness about ailments like Breast Cancer and Osteoporosis which are lesser known.

I love my Mumbai City and I know we all do. But let us make this city safe sound and secure for every woman so that she feels the city is reciprocating her love. So that she feels it is as much her's as she is of Mumbai!

PS: This post is a part of the Times Of India initiative #MumbaiForWomen supported by Indiblogger.


  1. Wonderful Post. A lot needs to be done to make aamchi Mumbai a truly safe city for women. With more awareness and activism, slowly but surely we will reach there. :)

  2. Lovely Post Neha

    almost covered everything discussed .

    1. Thanks.
      Now waiting to know if it gets featured in the TOI! :)

  3. Great post Neha mam . We really need to improve many things in our society which will help us to not to make mumbai safe but each and every place on this earth .
    Loved your post !!!!! :)

    1. Thanks Harshal.
      I know this world can be a better place. Just a matter of little efforts from our side.

  4. Seems we all love our own city... and we definitely can't get enough of it. I have never been to Mumbai though, but yes, visiting soon. Loved your post and hope not even Mumbai, whole world to be a safe place.

    Himanshu Nagpal | Being Traveler

    1. Hey Himanshu,

      Welcome to my blog. Ahh...Mr Traveler please come soon to explore Mumbai. It's a lovely city waiting to welcome everybody with an open heart. :)


  5. Good post Neha. Yes, many matters concerning women need to be urgently addressed.

  6. Yeh Mumbai Teri bhi jaan hai aur meri bhi jaan hai...toh isko apni jaan ki tarah rakh na meri jaan... :) :)