Panchkula MC polls: Safety key issue for women

Women voters were out in large numbers on Sunday to vote for the Panchkula municipal corporation elections, with safety concerns bothering them the most, something they said the new councillors and mayor had to address urgently. “The city is quite unsafe, especially at night. We want police presence on the streets in the late hours, just like in Chandigarh. Also, the market of sector 12 A should be developed, as it hardly has any shops,” said Shashi Grover, 65.

Manju Bala, 58, said women were afraid to move out of their homes at night or allow their daughters to stay out late in the evenings. “The streetlights too don’t work and the playgrounds are not well lit. We have hardly seen any development in the city in the past,” she added.

“Snatchings occur frequently,” said Dr Poonam Sharma, 59.

Many roads were damaged and some areas were not lit. “We want the new mayor to work on these issues,” she added.

Women also wanted the civic body authorities to focus on jobs and skill development opportunities.

“Girls from poor families need a source of income, so they need skills training to live dignified and independent lives,” said Neelima Rakhi, 63.

Shanti Devi, 37, from Sector 14, wanted jobs and affordable education for children. “Getting admission in government schools is challenging. If you don’t have a reference, your child will not be admitted,” she said.

For Barsaati Devi, 60, from Indira Colony, ration had to be made available at affordable rates. “Earlier we used to get pulses and oils from the government, but now we get only wheat. Facilities for the poor are getting scarce. We want the government to provide us ration at affordable rates,” she said. 

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