For the young go–getters of Ahmedabad, happening to be a girl is becoming quite a hitch. Take 25-year old Dipti Bhatt. Residents of the housing society where she stays with her five friends in a rented flat , have asked all of them to vacate. "The way they look at us makes us cringe. I have moved five times in the last two years. I moved into this flat in Kalasagar-II Apartment with five other girls. Last week, we were asked to move out from here too," bemoans Dipti, who works in an advertising agency.
Most housing societies in Ahmedabad are quite conservative when it comes to letting single women occupy space. "Eyebrows are raised every time I say I stay alone. They allege that single girls are a cause for trouble, while it is the neighbors who often hit on girls staying alone, making them uncomfortable," says Khushnuma Bhasin, 25, working with a clinical research organization here. Bhasin was able to move into an empty flat belonging to a family friend, but not everyone is that lucky.
According to these young women, the general reasons cited for denying entry range from the issue of returning late at night to allegations of wasting water.
"This is becoming the norm in most housing societies. Even we have been asked to vacate flats, which we have given out to single women and even bachelors. We are now moving away from the heart of the city and looking for flats in the outskirts to accommodate them," agrees Rajni Dave, a city-based real estate agent.
For those who come from outside the city, the sense of apathy is appalling. Says Deepti Sharan, a 24-year-old government employee who came to the city after studying in Delhi: "The crime rate may be high in Delhi but acceptability of single women is very high.” "Finding an accommodation in Bangalore is not very difficult for a single girl," agrees Yozna Gurung, 25, an IT trainer.