Is India safe for girls travelling solo? Should we be avoiding remote areas in northern India? It’s a controversial question but one that keeps popping up, particularly in light of recent events.
Last week a Spanish woman was attacked by 5 Indian men in the northern town of Pushkar. They assaulted her boyfriend before ripping her clothes off and allegedly attempting to rape her. Fortunately her shouts for help were overheard and a local man came to her rescue and the offenders were caught.
Sadly, these kinds of events aren’t uncommon in India and only serve to heighten our fears, however irrational they may appear to be.
So what does this mean for solo female travellers in 2016?
Does this mean we shouldn’t travel alone in India? That we should choose the easy options?
The irrational side of me wants to urge other girls to avoid these dangerous areas and stay in touristy areas where it’s safer. Preferably wrapped in cotton wool.
I was in Pushkar the day this happened and it could quite easily have been me. And, to be truthful, it made me want to leave immediately. I was rattled. How could this kind of thing happen in broad daylight?
But then the defiant me
came storming out. Why should we miss out on some of the most beautiful parts of India because a small minority of men spoil it for everyone else? Why should our gender dictate where we go?
What do other female travellers think?
Over the 6 weeks I’ve travelled all over India and spoken to countless girls who have been on the receiving end of crude comments, intimidating behaviour and even groping on buses and public transport. The silent stares and male-dominant streets are disconcerting. They make you feel vulnerable.
Despite all of this, 9/10 of the girls I spoke to STILL said they loved India. Yes, it can be challenging and INCREDIBLY frustrating, but that’s all part of life. And it makes you a stronger traveller.
That being said there ARE a few things you can do to ensure you stay safe. And I urge you to continue reading so you can be ready to deal with whatever India has in store for you. 😘