India for women travelling alone

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#1 Feb 12th, 2009, 19:04
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  • Irma is offline
#1
I have just returned from a month travelling around India on my own. I have travelled by myself for long periods of time for the last 12 years visiting West Africa, Mexico, SE Asia and Europe. I had read about women being annoyed in India, so I was sort of prepared. I went to Delhi, Jaipur, Pushkar, Udaipur, Agra and Varanasi, travelling on sleeper class and also by bus.

I am very sorry to say I was bothered by men all the time. I was touched constantly, even up to 10 times a day, on the streets, shops, trains, buses etc.

It was unbearable, I used to complain and shout and push, but they just looked at you like nothing happened.

I was touched on the bottom, chest, legs, arms, bump into constantly. Apart from being stared at all the time.

I can only say I was very uncomfortable and felt pretty insecure. Unless their attitude changes I think less and less women tourist will visit India.

Another issue was the dirt. India is filthy. There is rubbish everywhere, people throw everything on the floor, trains etc. Men piss everywhere, the smell is unbearable.

I don't think it has anything to do with poverty, as I've been to Ghana and the Ivory Coast, travelling extensively for 2 months and I saw a lot of misery but no dirt like in India, I think it's a culture issue and that should be changed.

Anyway I am sorry to be so negative but this is my sincere opinion of India. I will not go back.

Mod Note

Hi Irma - have merged the replies to your other post into this thread (just to prevent any confusion for anyone answering).
Last edited by brownboy66; Feb 13th, 2009 at 01:08..
#2 Feb 12th, 2009, 19:28
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  • jaws is offline
#2
So are you sayning Indian man just touch as soon as they see woman everywhere? I think depends on lots of things .place, cloth, peoples croud, travel,
Last year we travel in bombay train which was great. My wife given seat in full train. if train is full then i can say yes its possible. But if someone say man are doing this not true from our experiences. even in uk you can not alone at some places in night. i am sure same everywhere same .I am not saying can not happen but say what town. timings might help.
#3 Feb 12th, 2009, 19:42
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Its my guess, you might have been in wrong place at wrong time.Anyway its bad and condemnable what has happened to you but i cant just digest it all.Few things you mentioned are all true (there are dirty cities everywhere) but i dont think people would intentionally manhandle you 10 times a day.India is a nice place perhaps you came with wrong perceptions.Please come again and visit down south to have different experience.
#4 Feb 12th, 2009, 19:44
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  • jaws is offline
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Irma
just read your first post and read it.Hmm.
WE never been on that side of india so can not say but we are going there in feb end and mar so will Let u know if that happens to lonely person.
Been to lots of other place in India .so will be intersting to see in that part of india.
Sorry to hear but some of my friends had travel alone no one said anything. But most of them careful in dress. when we in Goa and Mumbai both different. even in goa on beach anything ok but most people cover bit more when they leave beach and mumbai can not have same cloths as goa.
#5 Feb 12th, 2009, 19:55
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#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by santos_g15 View Post Its my guess, you might have been in wrong place at wrong time.Anyway its bad and condemnable what has happened to you but i cant just digest it all.Few things you mentioned are all true (there are dirty cities everywhere) but i dont think people would intentionally manhandle you 10 times a day.India is a nice place perhaps you came with wrong perceptions.Please come again and visit down south to have different experience.

Dear Santos thanks for your message but I can confirm, that I was touched up to 10 times a day, bumped into constantly and touched everyhere all the time. I don't think I was at the wrong place at the wrong time, as I travelled around India for a month, and I can assure you I'm not exagerating at all. I am 35 and after travelling extensively around the world, I think I can say I am a seasoned traveller and therefore all I am saying it's because it really happened. At the beginning you think it is a mistake, someone bumping into you, but when this repeats and repeats, when you see men coming your way on purpose, you realise this is their attitude. Really bad, I just want to prevent women about this, I regret going to India as these issues make my trip really uncomfortable. I have now realised this is every day business for Indian women, I am really sorry for them having to put up with this. I understand now why you mainly see men on the streets, if I was a women living in India I would stay at home. I had friends doing voluntary work in Delhi at an orphanage, and this was their everyday experience too, so please dont talk without knowing and try to dismiss my complaints. I understand if you are a man you can feel offended but I think you have no right to do so. I think it is true in the south the attitude might be different and men might behave better due to more tourism, but i think it's not worth it unfortunately for me to go back to India.
#6 Feb 12th, 2009, 20:10
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  • capt_mahajan is offline
#6
Irma, sorry you had a bad time.

Not commenting further on anything since you won't be returning to India, so it will be a waste of time.
.
This is computer generated drivel. No signature is required.
#7 Feb 12th, 2009, 20:47
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  • chrisindiaaddict is offline
#7

Bye Bye ! !

Hi IRMA,

I am very sorry for hearing your bad India experience.It is beeter not to return as India is not your cup of tea.India needs peoples who can see her inner beauty.I have met at least 1000 of solo female white travellers in India and no one complained like you !!! There must be some firm reason so that all Indian men tried to touch you continously.Please think and let us know so that we can warm other solo female travellers.Cheers and enjoy Ghana !!!

Regards
Chris
#8 Feb 12th, 2009, 20:51
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Sleazebags can be found the world over, although the most blatant ones I've ever encountered in my world travels over decades were in Egypt and India. Thankfully being older now I don't have to endure the "eve teasing"/ groping etc. when in India these days, but there is a form of sexual assault that is rarely if ever acknowledged and I don't think anyone has mentioned it on this thread. In my country, and perhaps a few others ? it is a criminal offence,one recognised as a form of sexual assault, for a man to expose his penis in a public place. But that's what a women gets to see almost on a regular daily basis if she walks or is travelling in a vehicle along the streets and roads of India. Yes, public urination, and most of the time not done modestly at all, but so often suddenly and unexpectedly revealing for passers by who really do not wish to see any of it. I certainly didn't want to see as many penises just popping out at any moment along the street. I found this repeated daily assault shocking and really disgusting.

I've discussed this with Indian women, and yes they are offended by these unwanted flashers. Yet Indian women are urged to cover up??? I don't get it. Why is it OK for these men to urinate in public places, exposing their penises, but not OK for women to expose flesh that is not even near their sexual organs? I suspect this sexist double standard concerning public modesty goes some way to legitimise sexual harrassment of women in the minds of the sleazebag culprits.
Last edited by alouise; Feb 12th, 2009 at 20:52.. Reason: typo
#9 Feb 12th, 2009, 20:51
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  • capt_mahajan is offline
#9
Chris, that is not true. Talk to any woman, regardless of skin colour or nationality. Or read the many threads on the topic here on indiamike.

I dispute that the behaviour is universal in the country. I don't dispute that it exists.
#10 Feb 12th, 2009, 20:53
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  • Chandra is offline
#10
Sorry you experienced it like that. And India CAN be a difficult place to travel.

But it also has a bit to do with attitude. I have had maybe five incidents in my two years of travelling in India that have been over the line. (Explicit, deliberate touching.) But I tend to be positive, and if someone bumps into my arm I give that person the benefit of the doubt.

I also think I have been lucky, though. Every time I discuss this with other women who have been travelling in India I seem to have had the least stressful experience attentionwise.
#11 Feb 12th, 2009, 20:56
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#11
Capt Mahajan,

I do not agree.IRMA has declared India like a waste and uncultured country.My point is that any woman will not face this if she use some common sense and proper dress in public places.

Cheers !!
#12 Feb 12th, 2009, 21:02
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#12
Capt Mahajan,

I am feeling bad by hearing IRMA's comment on India , even I am not an Indian !!!!

Chris
#13 Feb 12th, 2009, 21:03
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#13
Buses are a bit dubious everywhere in the world. Stay away from them is my advice. A Canadian recently got their head cut off on one .... in Canada.

Everybody gets 'touched' in India. With 1.2 billion people your bound to get touched, shoulder handled, pushed, pulled, butt brushed & breast swiped on ocassion - yes up to 10 times a day. Especially on the chosen neo-hippy town & transportation itinerary taken by the OP.

What I'm not yet certain about is how to discern between one person's 'groping experience' and another's 'touching experience' or yet another's normal Indian experience. I guess will never really know until somebody events a bodymeter/cam that gauges/monitors hand pressure measured in pounds per square inch (psi) - so that the intensity of these close encounters can be documented & examined more scientifically.

I can't believe that people still stare in India. I don't think I'll be going there again .... at least not without my tinfoil pith helmet.
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
T. S. Eliot

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#14 Feb 12th, 2009, 21:05
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#14
Chris, at least I am giving Irma some allowance because she is justifiably angry. Like I said, I dispute the generalisation (in another thread, too), but that does not mean I ignore the crap women face in parts of the country regularly at all.

Bhagsu, I am not army. Regardless, our culture does not include tolerance of assault on women, I hope.


Edit

Quote:
What I'm not yet certain about is how to discern between one person's 'groping experience' and another's 'touching experience' or yet another's normal Indian experience
Peak, here's the thing. While the billion people will undoubtedly jostle for space and each other, any decent Indian male will make it a point, as far as possible, to keep (even a few inches) distance from a female in a public place. And for people who live here, the intent is obvious before contact is made.
#15 Feb 12th, 2009, 21:14
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#15
i would just like to add a positive here. i spent 2 years in india as a
'not bad looking' lone female around the age of 30. i never had the touching problem with indian men. the staring, yes. i worked with the men a lot as i was doing portrait sketches and i was often alone in some guys office or at their home.
the staring really got to me, at times and i think it was more extreme than it is today. my last visit was last year but i am 'not so good looking' and 60 so i wasn't even stared at much.
from the stories here, it seems that the harassment situation is really bad now, for some women. i know there is much more drinking of alcohol so some of it could be related to that. i had one scary moment with a drunk guy, 3 years ago, on vypeen island, but that wasn't necessarily sexual, he just didn't like me putting my hand to his chest when he started closing in on me and he started yelling and looked like he was going to punch me. i yelled at him and then walked away, but i was scared as he was was still sounding hostile.
i did have the penis expose`, at an internet cafe which i have mentioned on another thread. that was on the andamans.
anyway, to say that women should not go to india, is an absurd
suggestion.
my worst experience with men and harassment was italy and my best treatment from the men in general, was iran.
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