Even as the entire country is demanding protection of women at public places after the Delhi gang-rape case, the University of Pune (UoP) has taken steps to beef up the security arrangements for girl students on its campus.
Vice-chancellor (VC) WN Gade told DNA that the university will provide a safe and secure environment for girl students studying or staying on the campus. “We have strengthened the security by appointing lady security officers, who will guard the hostels with a hawk’s eye. We have already installed CCTV cameras in the hostels and outside the premises,” he said.
Gade said that 13 lady security officers have been assigned the task of guarding over 900 girl students staying in the hostels. “The departments have been directed to provide security for girl students working late in the research laboratories. We have also fixed the deadline of 10 pm. The departments will have to give an undertaking to us,” he added.
According to the VC, the university already has an anti-sexual harassment cell where the girl students can report their problems or directly approach the registrar or VC. Girls’ hostel rector Sandhya Risbud said, “No eve-teasing incident has been reported so far.”
Meanwhile, some colleges have also set up anti-sexual harassment cells. Principal of Garware College of Commerce, NS Umrani, said, “We have set up an anti-sexual harassment cell and a grievances cell in the college. In both the cells, we have women professors who can address problems faced by girl students. Around 53 to 54% of the students are girls in our college.’’
He added, “Our women rectors conduct weekly meetings with the girls at the hostels. The girls have been told to remain alert and take measures to defend themselves. We also sensitise boys about gender equality.’’
Vice-principal (junior), Fergusson College, Rekha Palshikar said, “We have a committee and the girl students can report if they face harassment on the campus or outside. Similarly, in the hostel, the wife of the principal or any lady life member of the society is the rector who has a constant dialogue with girl students. No incidents of harassment have been reported so far by the students.’’