“I am an insurance analyst from Spain, moving to India to work for an insurance firm based out of South Mumbai. My family is worried about my safety. What is your advice regarding safety for the expats moving to India?”
India is an extremely vast country, and the question of safety varies— some areas are well developed, some are in the process of development, and others are underdeveloped. While moving to India, expats generally worry about their safety and often come across petty crimes. You are less likely to be the target of a violent crime here. Despite all the fear-mongering about it, the odds of being caught in a terrorist attack are very slim.
It is nevertheless always important to be aware of a few safety issues such as road safety. Indians are known to be bad drivers, possibly the worst in the world. One needs to be fully alert when out on the streets, be it to drive, ride a bike, or even for a peaceful stroll in the evening. Alertness is crucial when it comes to safety, both in terms of traffic and crime.
When we speak of petty crimes, you must keep an eye out for pickpockets, luggage thieves, eve-teasers, etc. Theft prevention is an important lesson to be learnt. There are several ways to protect yourself from such situations, but caution and alertness are the most important. Shortchanging is another crucial factor to keep in mind. While buying goods or services, make sure that you give and get back the correct amount of money. Getting scammed is universal and hence try to avoid anyone making an unbidden offer or giving you unsolicited advice. Another common problem faced by people, in general, is begging. Even though India is a fast-growing economy, millions still live in extreme poverty and often can be a nuisance. It is best to avoid and ignore them until they eventually leave. Making a scene with one beggar may encourage others, leading to you being surrounded.
The rate of crime and homicide in India has seen a significant decline in recent times. Though India’s rate of rape and sexual assault is higher than average, there seems to be scope for improved law and order. What is significantly more important and in need of change is the whole attitude of men towards women. Depending on where you are, it is crucial to take into consideration the culture and dress modestly to avoid unwanted attention. Expats tend to stand out in a crown hence blending in with the locals can be considered as a step that may minimise the risks posed towards them.
India is extremely politically oriented, and people follow politics religiously. Attending rallies and protests related to any political and social-economic issues is unadvisable. Such gatherings are often a prime spot of violence and being an expat in India; it is unwise to get caught up in such situations.
Apart from all this, every region comes with a fear of unavoidable natural phenomena. Keeping in mind Mumbai’s coastal location, it is important to be acquainted with the cyclone situation of the region.
The government is doing its best to improvise the standards of living for everyone in the country, aiming to raise the quality of life and safety. India intends to raise its standards innumerably, making the experience enjoyable. The country aims to climb up the satisfaction index for expats in the foreseeable future.