Is it safe for a woman to travel overnight in our buses?

India is tired of reading negative news related to women for the past one month. To make things worse few public figures are suffering from verbal diarrhea (see links below).

KSRTC is the state owned bus service in the state of Karnataka. Public bus service is a very important mode of transportation in Bangalore (and Karnataka state). The quality of buses until now were bad. Less said the better. After R. Ashoka took over as the transport minister the state saw the introduction of huge number of Volvo buses. There was a ‘feel good factor’ amongst citizens because they too could travel in clean and luxurious buses.

KSRTC Volvo Airavat. Image source

KSRTC Volvo Airavat

Yesterday my sister and niece left for Hyderabad from Bangalore by one of their Volvo buses (Airavat). It leaves Bangalore at 8:40 PM and supposed to reach Hyderabad early hours next day.

Just after midnight my niece noticed many passengers were getting out with their luggage. They were being shifted to another bus which got full. Only six women and 2 men were left behind. On inquiring they found out that 2 tyres of the bus had burst. Hard luck.

But was this the way the situation should have been handled? Shouldn’t the bus driver and conductor make sure women and children are transferred first? Or they make everybody wait until they make arrangements for all? Leaving just six people behind in a deserted place doesn’t sound very comforting. The driver was not willing to even tell which town was nearby.

Why blame just the driver, conductor, the government, the Minister. What about other male commuters who quickly went into the other bus? Wasn’t there a single man to check if any women were left behind?

It was good to read just yesterday that the Minister was reaching out to women traveling by bus to enlighten them about the safety measures the government had taken. It is time he has a sitting with the staff of KSRTC also – they need to be trained on handling these situations with atmost care & sensitivity.

Government is talking about installing GPRS, CCTV and what not in all buses. But first what we all needed to be trained in is sensitivity.

This was definitely my sister’s LAST bus journey.


  1. Untill Indian Men are not cultured and educated , you can never say it is completely safe, it depends obviously.
    but then it’s better to be safe.

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