Understaffed and often unattended, Pink Booths fail to live up to the fanfare

- March 15, 2024
| By : Muhammad Tahir |

A spot check found some of Delhi’s all-women pink booths either shut or operating with skeletal staff

LOCKED: A pink toilet opposite a Pink Booth in Greater Kailash-2. Both are often found shut

Even as the two All-Women Police Posts (AWPPs) inaugurated at Shraddhanand Marg and Khan Market last month promise enhanced security to women, the failure of previous initiatives like the ‘Pink Booths’ and ‘Integrated Facilitation Booths’ doesn’t give one much confidence about the success of the latest initiative.

Pink Booths’ were inaugurated over two years ago, in October 2021, across Delhi in a bid to provide enhanced safety to women and doorstep services to citizens.

They were established in areas with high footfall of children and women, especially localities with schools, colleges, coaching complexes, and markets.

But now they are battling several problems with many booths locked and unmanned while others suffer from poor deployment of staff. In short, most of the 130 Pink Booths and 115 Integrated Facilitation Booths stand like white elephants.

A spot check of several such booths across the city on March 11 and 12, by Patriot revealed that not a single female cop was available there from 11 am to 5 pm. Some of the booths were either locked while in others, only a single policeman was available.


At 11 am on March 12, the pink cabin outside Deshbandhu College in south Delhi’s Kalkaji was closed. After a while, a male cop arrived and opened its gate. This is despite the fact that there are two Delhi University colleges in the area – Deshbandhu and Ramanujan.

“This was shut for around 3-4 months. They (cops) are not active here even though incidents of snatching have happened here. The women cops are not even available,” said a female student of BA (Honours) Hindi at Ramanujan College.

She said that, in the worst case scenario, they may have to rely on friends for help instead of the police.

“No! We need to do it ourselves, my friends will only come to help,” she said.

Another female student of Deshbandhu College also expressed her concerns.

“I can’t recall seeing a female police staff here. It is generally shut,” she told Patriot. “The door [of the booth] opens occasionally.”

Two other students also confirmed that they have not seen any female police staff here.

According to a vendor, male police personnel are usually present at the booth while females visit only occasionally.

Khushboo, a member of the internal complaints committee of Deshbandhu College, said, “We know about the Pink Booth, but we are not sure about who is inside the booth. Cops are available only during the college elections but not after or before.”

The post-graduate student said further, “Women cops are unavailable, it is a pink booth only in ‘name’. There is no work. To tell you the truth, most girls don’t even know that there is police inside.”

Kirti, a student of English Honours who was waiting for someone with her friend at the gate of the college, approved Khushboo’s remarks. She said, “I have heard about the Pink Booth only now.”

Shweta, another Bachelors’ degree student of Deshbandhu College, said that he hadn’t seen any woman cop.

ABANDONED: A Pink Booth near the Deshbandhu College had no policewoman on duty

Rochan Chopra, President of the Residents Welfare Association — C Block, said, “Maybe, the personnel are available in the morning but we haven’t seen them in the evening. Actually, the walls of the Pink Booth should be transparent so that we can see.”

He said that the authorities have made no efforts to increase awareness.

A man, who worked at Rochan’s shop said, “There is no policewoman at the booth.”

Mata Sundri College for Women

Around 5 pm on March 11, the pink booth outside Mata Sundri College for Women at Rouse Avenue in central Delhi was locked.

“It is very rare to see women cops here,” said a female who is doing BA (Honours) in History at the college. “Yes, we have seen a jeep patrolling here sometimes but not any female cop,” chimed in her colleague as they came out of the college.

However, some students said that the area is safe and if need arises, female cops arrive to help. “They had helped me when my ID card was lost,” recalled a student.

The booth, however, lacked the display board which shows the timing of its operation.

INA market

An integrated police facilitation booth at the Delhi Haat-INA Market was open but remained vacant at around 2 pm. A popular market in south Delhi, it witnesses huge footfall. The display board of the booth was also not functioning.

It should be noted that Sanjay Arora, the Delhi Police Commissioner, had directed that timings for opening and closing of booths should be mentioned on the display board in bold letters outside the pickets.

Although there was a police jeep nearby, it looked very dirty and possibly hadn’t been used for some days. After some time, a policeman arrived on a motorcycle.

Shankar, who has been working in INA market since 1994, said, “People from the embassies come here to shop. Guards are available for security but policewomen are not available.”

Another woman who works at a shop called ‘Alankar Galleria’ in INA, said, “I’ve been working for two years, there has been no problem. The women cops spend some time.”

Four girls, who work at the nearby National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), said, “We have never seen women cops at the booth. Sometimes male cops are deployed otherwise they are also not present on most occasions.”

“This is a crowded market, so cops should be deployed here,” one of them said.

The President of the INA Market Association Rupinder Manchanda, who has been in the market since 1984, said, “This market is completely safe, all is well here. We don’t face problems of snatching, therefore there is no need for policewomen and we haven’t even seen them. We never needed police help until now.”

CGO Complex 

The Pink Booth near the CGO Complex in south Delhi’s Lodhi Colony at gate No. 14 of Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium, is in a very sensitive area and is therefore, very important for security.

Many important offices including SSB (Seema Suraksha Bal) and CBI among others are located here.

When Patriot visited the area at around 2 pm, the facilitation booth was found closed. There was no policeperson around and also no display board.

M Block Market, GK-2 

The Pink Booth near Greater Kailash-2 Market also had no female police presence with only a male cop was present there.

Sunita, who is facing problems with her former employer over salary, has been coming to the booth for the last three days but returning without any success.

In the absence of a policewoman, she complained to the policeman but was not satisfied.

“If there were women police officers deployed, maybe they would have understood my problem better. For the last 4-5 months, I haven’t seen any woman cop here,” she told Patriot.

“I thought the police will help me overcome my problem related to salary, but nothing has happened since the last three days.”

Even the male police persons are not constantly on duty, leaving one of Sunita’s visits to go waste.

“There should at least be one policewoman who can empathise with us,” said Sunita, who lives on rent nearby and works in the market.

VIP AREA: The Integrated Facilitation Booths at the CGO Complex and INA Market

Even the pink toilet opposite the booth was locked.


Chanakyapuri hosts various embassies as well as women’s colleges — Jesus and Mary College (JMC) and Maitreyi College.

Pink Booth was also set up near JMC on Saint Martin Marg.

But the booth was shut around 4 pm. Two male cops came on motorcycle around 4 pm with one staying on in the booth. However, there was no policewoman.

However, girls from both the colleges said they faced no problems due to the area being high profile and patrolling of police vehicles.

Patriot also spoke to some female students in public places.

Many of them were not even aware of the women-friendly booths while some knew very little about it. Some others said they had heard about the booths but did not know much about them.

When asked, three undergraduate students of Lady Shri Ram College, which is located in Lajpat Nagar, said they weren’t aware of Pink Booth and could only guess that it was related to women and girls.

The Delhi Police Public Relations Officer (PRO) ACP Ranjay Atrishya denied allegations that the Pink Booths are unmanned.

“It could be possible that the time you visited, the booth was closed or women were not present. They are deployed from time to time, and not 24 hours. People living nearby also know the timings of the duty of policewomen. We are also making arrangements on the border due to farmers’ protests.

“If Delhi Police have taken the trouble to set up Pink Booths, what is stopping them from deploying the personnel. They are surely available there.”