The BMTC hotline was restored after the lockdown was lifted, but no one has filed any complaint say BMTC officials.
The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), which inaugurated Pink Sarathi in 2019, has not received a single complaint about women’s difficulties since the service was restored in July 2021. According to the BMTC public grievance dashboard, 798 complaints were filed this month for issues involving tickets, vehicles, crew misbehavior, and others.
Ajit B Torgal, Public Relations Officer (BMTC), said, “We have not received any complaints, particularly about Pink Sarathi. Women are not calling. As a result, we aren’t getting any calls. We are getting calls about routine ticket issues and misconduct.”
He added that they are always monitoring things like crew misconduct, usual ticket difficulties, money exchange, rash behavior, and rash discourse by the conductor, but no issues specifically relating to women and Pink Sarthi since we have not gotten calls for it.
The Karnataka government has launched ‘Pink Sarathi’ vehicles that are procured by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). It was launched in June 2019 to address grievances of women passengers on city buses.
According to the BMTC public grievance dashboard, the most common complaint is crew misconduct, which accounts for 88 percent of all complaints, while harassment and assault complaints account for 7.6 and 3.3 percent, respectively, and are still in the process of being resolved.
The Pink Sarathi in-charge person stated that while the lockdown has been lifted, no complaints about women’s difficulties have been received. He further stated that if they received any complaints, their team was prepared to deal with them.
A woman who wished to remain anonymous, stated that she was riding on a BMTC bus about 15 to 20 days ago. As soon as she stepped off the bus, a young boy touched her breast with his elbow. She was stunned for a long time and did not understand what to do or where to go. “I couldn’t hold the boy because I had something in my hand. I simply wanted to scream,” she added.
“Sexual harassment is definitely present,” said Bindu, a counsellor at Durga, a non-profit organisation. Women are not outspoken enough to talk about it. “Women are unwilling to communicate or complain about it because they fear that their schooling, employment, and social activities would be disrupted.”
She also described a circumstance in which she was providing confidential counselling to victims of rape. She stated that they refused to file a complaint, although she advised them to do so.