In November 2010, Prajnya piloted a women’s safety audit in Chennai as part of the annual 16 Days Campaign against Gender Violence. The audit, carried out by a group of local residents along with a small team from Prajnya, surveyed sections of Besant Nagar, a residential area with a well-used and busy public place, the beach. The audit revealed that while the area is generally considered safe during the day, several of the inner streets are considered unsafe after dark. Lighting was the major concern: lights came on too late (after it was already dark) and several of the existing street lights weren’t functional. A section of the local playground was found cordoned off with tall aluminum sheets and virtually no lighting. In other words, an upper middle class area in a leading metro was still constrained by safety concerns that governance should have rendered redundant.
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