UNDETERRED BY the failing experiment with women parking attendants, another contractor managing the grain market of the city has hired women parking attendants to man all the entry and exit points of the market in Sector 26. The grain market in the city is considered the most unsafe spot for women as all kinds of people — truck drivers, auto drivers, vegetable and fruit vendors, and labourers — happen to visit the market on a daily basis.
There are eight entry and exit points in the grain market and as many as eight women attendants have been deployed. Contractor Mohammad Idrish, who has taken the contract of the parking lot for Rs 61 lakh, said that people usually fight with male attendants but they wouldn’t do so with women.
“Many visitors don’t pay the parking fee and start fighting with the male attendants. When women are there, they at least won’t behave in that manner. Moreover, it will give employment to these women too who are willing to work,” the contractor told Chandigarh Newsline.
On measures being taken to ensure their safety as these women will have to deal with truck and auto drivers too, he said, “We have one male attendant also with them so they won’t be alone. Moreover, their working hours would be from 9 am to 5 pm only.” A woman attendant, who didn’t wish to be quoted and had her first day on Sunday, said, “I am just learning the new work as of now. I won’t accept any misbehaviour.” The company, Arya Toll Infra Limited, managing all other parking lots in the city except the grain market area, has been facing issues concerning the safety of their women attendants.
Of the 347 women attendants who were deployed to manage all other 26 parking lots of the city by the company, as many as 217 women attendants left the job in the last two months and at present, there are only 130 working here. Chandigarh is the first city in the country where Municipal Corporation in collaboration with the company decided to have women to manage parking lots. The project began on June 19 this year.
The findings of the survey conducted by the women cell of the Arya Toll company found that 47 per cent, that is 102 out of 217 women attendants who left, blamed bad behaviour, eve teasing, sexist remarks and lewd comments passed by male visitors as the reasons for leaving their job. An incident was also reported in Sector 22-B where a woman attendant and her colleague were assaulted by few men in the presence of police personnel. Later, after the intervention of the SSP, a case was lodged and one person was arrested.