After a 23-year-old photojournalist was gang-raped in the city, the focus is back on women’s safety.
Various public places are under the scanner for security preparedness. Among them is the University of Mumbai’s Kalina campus. Spread over 243 acres, the Kalina campus houses various departments and four hostels, of which, three are for girls.
While the university sees thousands of students come in everyday, it gets very deserted at the end of the day. “The campus is vast and after lectures are over, it is deserted.
The streetlights are not enough and there are various dark pockets. We are scared to move around the campus,” said a student, who lives in the girls’ hostel.
The campus is guarded by the university’s security department which has over a hundred employees. “We have adequate security to guard the campus round the clock in three shifts. For the past one and the half year, we have also employed women guards for the girl’s hostel and other areas,” said an university official.
Some feel that the security on the campus may not be enough. “There is a need to increase security personnel because the boundary walls are broken at places and these are easy inlets for anti-social elements. There have been many thefts on the campus and we must not wait for something worse to happen,” said senate member Sanjay Vairal.
On Monday, the members of the Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarathi Sena (MNVS) staged a protest at the Kalina campus demanding better security for women. Pro vice chancellor Dr Naresh Chandra promised them of necessary steps. “Dr Chandra has assured us that the university in consultation with the police will hire additional security and increase the compound walls’ height,” said Sudhakar Tamboli of MNVS.
Dr Chandra said, “We will review the security and chalk out a plan to strengthen facilities on the campus. We will look at all aspects including increasing manpower.”