Safety Tips for Women Traveling to India
Traveling anywhere unescorted can be harassing for women, but in India, women travelers need to be extra vigilant and follow certain safety tips. Here are some precautionary measures you must follow.
Avoid crowded places
Although this is not entirely possible in a country like India but as far as possible stay on the sidelines. Also, avoid body contact with men (even hugs and touching on the forearm/shoulders) and dress conservatively.
Never accept drinks from strangers
The pickup line ‘Can I buy you a drink?’ could turn out horribly wrong. If you are at a club or even at an acquaintance’s party, never accept anything to eat or drink from random strangers.
When using taxis and cabs
Use GPS to keep track of where you are going. Note down the number of the vehicle and pretend to call someone and give them the number. In fact, ask the taxi driver his name and pretend to pass along that information too.
Keep others informed
Whenever possible inform family and friends about your whereabouts. Carry a phone with you at all times.
When using buses and trains
If you are travelling by bus or train, especially at night, make sure you are not alone. If you happen to find a family traveling on the same train or bus, stay close to them. Also, make sure your bags and belongings are locked and tucked away safely.
Be stern, rude, and aggressive wherever needs be
Docility only encourages the perpetrators. If you find yourself subjected to being harassed by men, do not hesitate to shout and gain attention.
There’s a vast difference between being a native woman of the country and a foreigner in India. Exude confidence; half the time tourists are harassed because they are seen as easy targets.
Carry pepper spray with you and do not hesitate to use it when the situation demands it. The hotline number to the police in India is 100.
Always be alert and listen to your instincts
If you feel something is wrong, leave instantly and do not be afraid to call for help. The worst punishment in India is to be flogged by the crowd, so if you are being harassed, raise your voice and draw attention.