It’s been over a month since the new academic session at University of Delhi has begun but girl students studying in DU don’t want to be welcomed with fake promises of being safe and secure. A recent survey done by a youth organisation clearly highlighted that a majority of girls still feel insecure despite promised safety norms by colleges.
Last month a flash mob-cum-protest was held by a popular youth organisation; ‘Wake up India Foundation’ to intensify the need to discuss the issue of Eve-teasing and Security of girls. It was a protest acknowledged by all; Teachers, Authorities, Students. The protest was meant to showcase the obstacles faced by a girl during her college days. Many safety audits in the past have clearly shown that the campuses aren’t completely safe for the girls students, making it difficult to adjust to the new surroundings just after school. One such safety audit conducted by Jagori, a women’s organisation, claims that girls aren’t able to use the university facilities specially the Library, as they can’t stay back in the college premises for long after their classes get over.
Lakshita Sapra, head of the Delhi chapter of the organisation said: “After the new session began, we spoke to a number of freshers in the university and found out that they do not find the campus safe. Many girls complained that they face eve-teasing while coming back from their colleges in the evening. The problem is that most of them do not report these cases, which is why we thought there was a need to make people aware about this issue through a protest and appeal to them to stop eve-teasing.”
Many girls feels they are being harassed at every moment be it in the class by their male counterparts or after the class; outside the college. “We do feel uncomfortable helpless at times. Specially when it is a all girl’s college you can see many hooligans and ruffian hovering outside the college making lewd comments and gestures which makes us uncomfortable. Hence there is the burden to call our kins and relatives to accompany us.” says Charu Chugh, a Kalindi College Student.
The areas that girl-students in North Campus identify as unsafe include the stretch from Vishvavidyalaya Metro station to Kamla Nagar, the ridge area near Hansraj College, some lanes of Malka Ganj and the road connecting the campus to Hudson Lane and GTB Nagar. And all the off campus colleges face problems as there is no restriction of movement outside the college for local commuters. For South campus, according to students, the most unsafe zones include Sirifort complex, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi University campus and the areas adjoining LSR College.
“We are ready to accept any norms regarding to our safety but with despondence there are none effective. Travelling to metro stations after college or in between the breaks sometimes becomes next to impossible due to unstoppable ogling eyes of the people outside the college. Its high time some measures are put in place. Police vans and officers are present but at times you can see them napping or navigating others places.” says Nitya a student of Janki Devi Memorial College.
The Delhi police has claimed their presence outside the college has doubled since last two years and they have been working hard to stop eve teasing and ill-treatment of girls but it doesn’t come as a whole true for some colleges. Despite repeated promises by the police, the college administration, there seems to be little actions happening on the ground. At the end of the day, girls feel extremely unsafe travelling to, and sometimes, within a college. Efforts to guarantee women safety need to intensify substantially in order to provide girls an equal opportunity. However, a safe and secure learning environment for a girl still looks like a distant dream.