Delhi women safety
New global poll found India to be most unsafe country for women. [ Representational image]Reuters

A new poll had claimed that India is the most dangerous place for women, even ahead of war-torn nations of Afghanistan and Syria. 

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has slammed the Thomson Reuters survey report, asking why the ministry was not consulted during the study. The Reuters foundation has, however, defended the poll.

Political dispute aside, how safe is India for women? India's capital New Delhi has long been tagged as the most unsafe city for women. 

Women from other parts of the world who live in the city say that 'Delhi is safe if you play safe'.

"Those who claimed India is worse off than Afghanistan has no idea about other places. Even in Karachi, where I'm from, you try travelling alone in an auto with a lot of jewellery, or talking on your phone, it would be snatched immediately," said a Pakistani student at South Asian University to TOI.

The woman said that she never faced a problem while moving freely in India, and that the auto drivers have been polite and reliable while commuting at night in Delhi and also in "ghost towns" like Gurugram.

Saruul Buyan, a Mongolian student at Miranda House in Delhi University, says that she has never felt unsafe in Delhi, and that the perception of extreme danger has been exaggerated. "Of course, it depends on a woman's own good sense to stay safe. I may be less confident to go out at night than in the daytime. But the only bad experience I have had is unfriendly taxi drivers," said Buyan.

While Mongolia has a bride price system, she decries practices like dowry that devalues women, but also, "more women in India have the advantage of education, which makes them harder to exploit."

Recalling a recent experience, a 43-year-old French national Paulina Lopez shared her story saying that in her two years stay in the city she has never felt unsafe but does not take any risks either. "I don't wear tight clothes, or go to isolated places at night, and am careful about the cabs I get into. I would have never felt that to do in France, or Chile where I have also lived," said Lopez.