You might be heard in news about sexual crime against women in India. Most of incidents done by criminals where a female they find at unsecure places. Please do not imagine every Indian man is rapist. Normal youth raise their voices whenever such incident happens.
India is quite a safe country, but you must use your common sense precaution you would use anywhere. Don't be afraid to travel solo, and don't be afraid to spend some time with locals.
I do not want to make it complicated but if follow the few tips will help you a lot –
Do your homework – Do not treat India like a single unit, it’s a country of diversity. As you hit the ground in some big metro city like Delhi or Mumbai, do not expect the same culture in further small town like Agra or etc.
Make your plan - India is a country of people, last minute booking sometimes take you nowhere. Few examples –
- When you book a train or bus or flight, Do not reach on destination on occurred time.
- In case if you reach late night book the pre paid taxi or take help with any family traveling in the same mode.
- If that not happen then deliberately note down the license plate of the vehicle, make a call (whether real or staged), and state the plate number and destination within earshot of the driver. If you not carrying the cell phone ask the driver to give you before to begin your journey.
Do not look different – When you look very different that invite unnecessary attention. In dress up long tunic with a scruff and pants are acceptable everywhere. Later you observe the people and go with the flow.
When you observe the Indian people you will find –
- Men shake hand with other man but they do nameste to known female. Touching a woman is not common some exception like young western oriented youth. If you allow friendly touch by any male can create misinterpretation.
- Indian men do eve teasing – You can it is a national bed habit may be reason of upbringing of girls and boys very separately. These men may like to be friendly with you but not sex criminal. Observe how Indian woman dealt that. A minimum extent best to ignore if someone cross limit says firmly NO… with little loud voices.
Act confident – Do not be very humble, criminal mindset people will take you as easy target that will encourage misadventures behavior. Do not be very polite but talk firm and confident. If any act, offer or touch if you not like be loud. Indian society is very conscious for the women in trouble. Your loud voices put any men in problem by the public.
Be aware – When you travel put your feet in criminals shoe, you will find most criminal hang around tourist places or hotels are the places where they can get their victim. If you need to hire a three wheeler (tuk tuk) never hire just out of the hotel, Most of all (tuk tuk) driver try to take tourist for their business places where they get commission. If possible call an uber taxi or any other radio taxi.
Take support of local elder ladies. In India age is a big factor of power in social hierarchy. Meeting with local in safe situation is a wonderful experience!
Try to gather local support system - Talking with friendly group, co passenger will gives good understanding of Indian society. It will also make you safer; criminal may target a insecure, fearful lonely lady but never try with a person full of friends.
- People may offer you food, be careful may be your tummy not trained for Indian germs, second in just one or two other man not safe to eat their food. Few criminal offer poisoned food and robe then when they loose consciousness.
- Always read instruction on sign boards on public places. if not have time or not able to concentrate just take a picture and read later. Polices provide important telephone numbers always take picture of that.
- Even if you get good friends in travel but its good to visit tourist information counter at railway, bus terminal or airport if you find there.
- Dial 100 is emergency polices number all over India.
- As you get in India try to buy a local sim, install in any normal internet enabled phone. Buy sim always from company outlet, do not buy from small shops that will take long way to activate.
- As you find some friend exchange the phone number. Every person has contacts in other cities so even the same person can helpful in other city. Due to strong family bond people give you big help just on a one phone call.
- try to pick few Hindi words make your conversation much easy and more helpful in making relations.
- In India if you need help and if you find a sensible person like a person in uniform, or a family do not hesitant before the problem goes worse.
- When you ask some information people make sure they understand your question because sometimes they not understand your English accent it’s better to reconfirm from some other person.
Try to avoid shops near monuments or shops in hotel premises. These areas shops are known as tourist traps. Many people get commission to bring customer up to the shop.
- Except train try to avoid travel in night. Trains are a great way to get around, overnight sleepers included. AC2 or AC3 sleeper class is fine. If you need peaces at night and more spaces better with little more you go for 2AC, otherwise you should booking the top bunk.
Book train in ticket in advances otherwise later it will not possible to book the train tickets. Train is most efficient and reasonable priced mode of travel. You need at least book train 3 month in advances, even if you are not sure book your ticket because later cancellation is not much expensive.
Keep your Documents safe - India is country of big population, to avoid queue better book your monuments tickets, train, bus and hotels in Advances. It will be a great help.
- Keep sufficient number of passport photocopy and passport size your photographs.
- If you lost your passport it will be not easy to get duplicate copy easily. India is a country of big bureaucracy. Offices matter takes long time. Just keep a small pack with your passport and valuables with you on your bunk.
- Most important – Keep a soft copy of your all your travel documents and important telephone number, in case if you lost your volute still you have duplicate.
- Keep the telephone number, email address and location address of your embassy of your country.
-It is safe to use ATM with bank otherwise use ATM with guard.