Delhi, the capital city of India, is set to introduce a groundbreaking initiative aimed at providing women with safe and comfortable spaces in the public sphere. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has embarked on a plan to establish 250 women-only “pink parks” across all its wards. This ambitious project, proposed by Deputy Mayor Aaley Mohammad Iqbal, aims to create spaces that cater specifically to the needs of women, offering enhanced safety measures, amenities, and a tranquil horticultural environment. While the idea has garnered support from many, there are concerns about the potential exclusion of certain segments of the population.
Creating Comfortable Spaces for Women:
The primary objective of the “pink parks” initiative is to provide a more comfortable and secure environment for women in Delhi. These parks will be equipped with various amenities, including toilets, CCTV cameras, gym facilities, and artistic graffiti on the walls. The intention is to create an atmosphere where women can relax, exercise, and connect with nature without feeling vulnerable or uncomfortable. To ensure inclusivity, children up to the age of 10 will also be allowed to accompany women visiting these parks.
A Successful Pilot Project:
The concept of women-only parks was first tested through a pilot project on Mata Sundari Road, where a “pink park” was established. The positive response to this initiative has encouraged the replication of the model in other wards. Deputy Mayor Iqbal emphasized that each ward should have at least one such park to serve the needs of women residing in different parts of the city.
Collaboration and Cooperation:
The establishment of these women-only parks will require the cooperation of various stakeholders, including councillors and residents. Deputy Mayor Iqbal has urged councillors from all parties to identify suitable locations within their respective wards. It is hoped that this vision for safer and more welcoming public spaces will transcend political affiliations and receive widespread support. The involvement of councillors representing different areas will ensure that the needs and preferences of the local communities are taken into account.
Challenges and Concerns:
While the “pink parks” initiative has received support from some quarters, there are concerns about potential exclusivity and the restriction of access to a large segment of the male population. Critics argue that public parks should be accessible to everyone, including elderly individuals who may not agree with gender-restricted spaces. The MCD acknowledges these concerns and states that it will only proceed with establishing women-only parks if there is a genuine demand from residents and a formal proposal from area councillors.
Preserving Historic Parks:
In addition to the creation of new women-only parks, Deputy Mayor Iqbal has also emphasized the importance of preserving and improving Delhi’s historic parks. Iconic locations like Subhas Park, Roshanara Bagh, and Qudsiya Bagh, which have long been part of the city’s heritage, will receive attention to ensure their betterment and upkeep.
The introduction of 250 women-only “pink parks” in Delhi is a commendable initiative aimed at providing women with safe, comfortable, and inclusive spaces in the city. By addressing the specific needs and concerns of women, these parks have the potential to become vital community hubs that promote physical and mental well-being. While concerns regarding inclusivity need to be carefully considered, collaborative efforts involving councillors, residents, and other stakeholders can help strike a balance between creating gender-sensitive spaces and maintaining public accessibility. As the “pink parks” project takes shape, it is hoped that it will serve as a model for other cities in India and beyond, inspiring the development of inclusive urban environments for all.