Solo Travel For Women - 9 Important Tips

4 minute

The year 2019 has been a good year for Indian woman travelers. There has been an increase in the number of female solo travelers in India. It is the saying of the old days that it is impossible for Indian women to travel alone. But Indian women are breaking that stigma and they are breaking it with style. No doubt that there will be too much pressure from family and society. You will be judged numerous times. But never let them pull your leg. And you have the potential to rise and shine.

If you are tired of traveling with family and friends and want to explore the horizons by yourself. Then no need to worry, I have 9 key essential things which you can keep in mind if you want to go on solo travel. And you will have experience and memories that will last a lifetime. So pack your bags and be ready to rock and roll.

  1. Do your research- It is always important to research the place you are traveling. Gather information regarding the demography of the place. Culture and safety of that region. If you are traveling abroad then find out the visa and exchange rate information. Do not make it too complex, but try to have information about basic things. It will come in handy.
  2. Pack light- always pack light. Because it will help you stay charged and you can move easily. You might get in different kinds of terrains, so if you will pack light then you will avoid a lot of trouble. Pack only necessary items. Few clothes according to the weather of the place. And you are good to go. Always keep an extra pair of pads if you are expecting your periods. If you are on any particular medication then always keep the stock because you might not be able to find it where you are going.
  3. Plan your first day- Always try to reach your destination at noon only. Then you will have the whole night to rest and you will start your next day will a whole level of new energy. If your accommodation is far from the airport or railway station then it might be a problem at night to reach the hotel. So it is always good to reach your destination at noontime itself.
  4. Share your itinerary with someone you trust- Always keep one trusted friend or family member in the loop when you are traveling alone. Keep them informed about the details of your stay and transportation. In case you will land in any kind of trouble. It will be easy for them to track you down. Also, stay in touch with social media, keep updating your travel journey. This way your well-wishers would know that you are safe and sound.
  5. Blend in- research about the place you are visiting and try to blend in their culture. Act as you are local this way you will not draw too much attention. Try local things like clothes. Shop and eat at local markets.
  6. Travel during the daytime if possible- if you are going from one place to another place and if it is long hours journey. Then try to do it during the daytime. Because in the night time, you will be more prone to any incident. Never hitchhike during night time. Even during the daytime hitchhike if that particular region is said to be safe for girls.
  7. Keep an eye out for your belongings- Always keep your important belongings like phone, wallet, camera, passport in a secure place. Keep an extra copy of your documents with your trusted contact. In crowded places, do not keep it in your general bags or too much exposed. Like, keep these things in the middle pocket of the bag so there will be less chance of pick pocketing. Only take out these things when necessary. Keep your camera strapped to your shoulder or hands.
    Trust your instinct- If you ever feel like something is weird about the specific place. Or you feel threatened by a certain person. Then get out of there immediately. Because it is better to be presumptive then regret it later. Because when you are traveling alone, safety is most important because you will not have any immediate backup. So whenever you feel something is fishy then get out there immediately.
  8. Always be open to changes- You should always keep one thing in mind that travel doesn't always go as planned. You might face sudden changes in your accommodation or transportation. Do not panic in such moments and analyze the situation calmly. Keep your safety on the top.

So solo travel is not difficult, that you hear from your family and friends. In solo travel, you learn and explore a lot. You have the command at your hand. This also brings the best in you. So stay aware and stay safe and keep exploring.

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The Bois Locker Room: An Instagram Chat Or A Wake-up Call?

3 minute

If you’re not already aware of what this case is all about, a group of young boys in Delhi on a private Instagram chat (screenshots of which were shared around later) called “Bois Locker Room” were seen objectifying, degrading, rating, demeaning young girls, sharing their pictures (some of this girls were only 14-15 years old) and even threatening to rape or kill them in case they got exposed. 

Screenshots of this group chat were shared across social media platforms - predominantly Instagram and Twitter, after which the school authorities of these students (the 20+ boys) requested the Delhi police to investigate the incident.

The Delhi police have so far found that some students of leading South Delhi schools created the Instagram group in the last week of March and started adding their friends. “A few members are in college. Some of the teens allegedly started sharing photos posted by schoolgirls on their Instagram accounts, and passing sexually explicit comments,” an officer said, adding that the purported chats also included threats of sexual violence.

DCP  Anyesh Roy told The Indian Express, “After we came to know, we registered an FIR under Sections 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and Sections 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and 67A (publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form) of the IT Act. 

The case is still under investigation. But..

All the right things that could’ve gone wrong: 

First off, the boys on the group chat threatened some of the girls to rape, kill, and humiliate them if they dared to share any of this information with anyone. But the girls, being well-educated (and smart) enough to know that no such thing could actually take place if a complaint was lodged, went ahead to expose them anyways. But you see, things like this happen EVERY DAY and young girls are often a) either too ignorant to pay attention and brush off these issues as “minor” or b) scared of the empty threats that honestly have no real follow-throughs.

Second, the school authorities specifically requested the police to investigate the incident. Now again, this may not have happened in many other cases. A lot of times, any kind of vulgar behaviour, especially in schools and colleges in India, is looked upon as high risk to the reputations of these institutions so they prefer to sweep it all under a carpet

And third, social shaming. In cases like these, we bless the speed of the internet. Social media fastens the process of information spreading, and it is necessary for people to acknowledge this pro of social media platforms. But more often than not, a lot of serious issues may be lost under all that is glitter and jolly good, unicorns and rainbows - But this piece of incident DIDN’T. Imagine the number of people that want to have a voice to socially bring shame to their oppressors, but are unsuccessful. At least this one caught the eye - and the punishment of being recognized as a “so and so” in case of this incident will stick with the boys for a lifetime. 

Now, the case is under investigation, and a judgment has not yet been made. But it’s clear to the general audience that since some of the girls (whose pictures had been shared on the group chat) were underage, this is child porn. So not only are what these boys doing morally incorrect, but also illegal under IP section 292, 293. 

We hope for the best outcomes.

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What Is Herd Immunity? Everything You Need To Know

2 minute

Picture a herd or community of healthy people. An infectious virus or disease would pass easily through the community from person to person. Vaccines train our immune system to protect us from diseases it hasn’t come in contact with before. For example, the MMR vaccine provides immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella. During an outbreak of a disease, vaccinated people will remain healthy. As they won't become infected, they won't pass on the disease. Hence, if most of the community is vaccinated, it makes it difficult for the disease to actually spread to the rest of the community. This is the basis of herd immunity. 

If most people in the community are not vaccinated, herd immunity can break down, allowing the disease to spread more easily.

Herd immunity becomes especially important for the individuals in a herd who can't be vaccinated. These could be people who are either too old, too young or have weaker immune systems

Herd Immunity without Vaccination: Another way the building of herd immunity could happen is if many people contract the disease and in time build up an immune response to it (natural immunity). In this case, the herd would have to be fit enough to contract the disease, survive it and then become immune towards it. 

 It is important to note that in order for herd immunity to take action, the disease/virus must be categorized as a Contagious one. (capable of spreading)

COVID-19 and Herd Immunity In India

Renowned Immunologist and Cell Biologist Dipyaman Ganguly has said that one of the only hopes in defeating the novel coronavirus is by developing ‘herd immunity,’ 

In an interview with news9, he said, “This coronavirus is not going anywhere. Viruses don’t go anywhere. They may become weak but its strand remains. The virus will keep infecting people until a large population develops immunity against it.”

He has also stated that immunity could only be achieved through a vaccine or by getting infected by the virus. “Since developing a vaccine for COVID-19 is not an easy task and it is unlikely that we will get one soon, the only hope that remains is that of herd immunity and it is bound to happen.”

Explaining the idea of herd immunity further, he said, “The virus is going to infect a large number of populations in India. When a large number of people get infected, their bodies will develop natural immunity. They will stop the virus from spreading further by breaking the chain of infections transmitted from one person to another.” “Since I am closely monitoring the situation, I am sure that we are moving towards herd immunity,” he added. 

Studying infection trends in India, he said that most coronavirus cases will be asymptomatic. Patients will recover through natural immunity and vitamin boosting medication suggested by doctors. However, those with existing health conditions could develop severe complications as the virus is shown to aggravate symptoms. 

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