India is not a safe country for women. While people will claim we've progressed in terms of mentality, India still continues to be the most unsafe country in the world for women. That is not debatable. That is a fact.
This fact remains true of the women also visiting India - as tourists, or as people here for work. A US travel blogger was not exempt from the treatment an everyday woman faces in India.
Jordan Taylor, who is a US-based travel blogger known for Travellight and has a Youtube channel, which documents her adventures. At the beginning of 2016, Jordan left her life in Miami behind to travel the world with no particular destination or end date. Her most recent stop was India, where she faced a harrowing experience.
In a vlog, she opens up about an experience she says is still difficult for her to talk about, and was the result of what is still a "traumatizing experience" for her.
Taylor states how at the end of her trip which had otherwise been great, some really negative things started happening. "Men, who randomly passed by would reach out and start touching me, groping me." She specifies one instance, where a man "leaned into my face and said 'I want to fuck you.'"
She also shares how she stayed in a 5-star hotel which gave her full name, room number and other personal details out to a stalker.
Then she shares the scariest bit about her trip. She says she checked into a hotel room, which was a property under OYO in Delhi's Paharganj.
She states how after her boyfriend left the hotel four days before she did, the hotel staff instantly started acting differently to her. "At one point one person even followed me up the stairs." She began to get menacing phone calls on the hotel room phone, and mentions how "this phone was only accessible by the hotel and it's employees so I knew it was one of them calling."
The phone calls contained things like, a long stretched out, "Heyyyyy baby" and "sexual noises and heavy breathing into the phone," with lewd noises and obscene included.
Two days before she was set to leave, someone came to her room, asked her to open the door, and at her refusal, came back with something heavy and banged it on the door. Then, she heard the main switch for her AC being switched off, which was located outside her door. After they switched it off, they demanded loudly that "the AC was broken, and we need to come inside to fix it." Obviously aware of what had happened, Jordan didn't answer her door. The hotel staff left and telephoned stating the same thing. This same gesture was then repeated by turning the Wifi off.
After this, she could see shadows under the door, as the person would move and come back. Soon, she could see the shadows of multiple people outside the door. While they repeatedly kept asking Taylor to open the door, she didn't respond, "Because I felt that if I opened the door, something bad would happen."
Recalling the experiences in the video, Taylor started choking up and stopped talking for a moment.
She said that the shadows were constant outside her door and "this went on for two days." While this incident unfolded, Taylor was stuck inside with no water or food. "It was like I was being hunted," she states. "It's like I was in a horror movie. I couldn't relax in my bed at night because this was the place where I was supposed to feel safe."
She also shares a video of the shadows that were present under her door.
Realizing that she couldn't leave, she noticed a small period in the early hours of the morning when the shadows would disappear, so she took that opportunity and left for the airport at 3 AM in the morning.
While she stayed brave through the ordeal at the hotel, she says that she lost her composure after leaving - and was crying in airports all over the world. Taylor also talks about being angry and annoyed at the situation, and wondering what she could have done differently.
She ends the video stating how she has had a good time in India before this - but the experience ruined it for her. She continues on how she was going to be part of what was "her dream project" in India with a company, but she couldn't take that project on anymore. She says it did not make sense for her to release the current video she was in, and then at the same time release other videos of adventure and fun with the company that she was supposed to be working with. She says that while she would like to visit India again, it wouldn't be for a while.
Reddit India in a tweet shared Taylor's experience, and OYO Rooms responded, stating that they were looking into the issue.
What has been described by the guest is extremely upsetting and we deeply regret the experience. Safety and security of our guests is a priority for us at OYO. 1/n— OYO4U (@OYO4U) September 11, 2018
Taylor also posted an update on her video stating, "GREAT NEWS UPDATE!! Within 24 hours of releasing this, the hotel where this happened was SHUT DOWN by upper management in the chain. It came out that this has happened to other women who stayed there in the past as well! NO MORE. Action has been taken!"
While the action may have been quick in this one case, crime rates against women in India are still at an all-time high, and India continues to remain the most dangerous country for women in the world.