Jyoti and her friend tried in vain to catch a ride home that fateful December 16th night with an autorickshaw, or auto, the three wheeled quick-rides seen all over India. Autos in Delhi often refuse metered rides after 7 p.m. or refuse to take passengers at all. There is no clear explanation as to why this happens. Dellhi police passed a rule on January 2 stating that after 7 p.m., if any auto driver refuses fares in this manner, a woman can take the auto's number, dial 100 and complain to the police. Traffic police will charge that auto driver with a fine.
Rules abound in India, it's the enforcement that is lacking, as we see in this investigation by a CNN-IBN reporter. It took her speaking to 19 auto drivers, making two phone calls, and 30 minutes in order to secure a ride home and speak with someone on the new Delhi women's help hotline, 181.