Make Mumbai Safe: Educational institutes join fight against molestation

The horrific incident of gang rape that occurred in the Capital earlier this week has not just left Delhi citizens shocked, but Mumbaikars as well.

Schools and colleges in the city are now taking precautionary measures by spreading awareness about the types of physical contact that are acceptable and unacceptable, along with providing self-defense courses for older women.

The increasing number of molestation and sexual harassment cases in the city has led to citizens questioning whether or not it is safe to step outside their homes at night.

While Podar Jumbo Kids school has been informing its students about how to identify harassment since 2010, some colleges have now decided to open counseling workshops for girl students and provide self-defense courses. 

Students of St Xavier College, Mood Indigo-2012 festival at IIT Powai
Hitting the ‘right’ note: Students of St Xavier College performed a street play at the Mood Indigo-2012 festival at IIT Powai yesterday. The play covered issues such as women’s rights, molestation and sexual harassment. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Moreover, the School Bus Owners Association claims that they will request bus owners to remove tinted windows from their buses if they have any.

Arundhati Chavan, principal, Swayam Siddhi College of Education, Bhiwandi said, “Our college gives a one-year course for B Ed girl students. Every morning, we have a discussion about the daily news. When we read about the incident of a man raping his step granddaughter last week, many of the students narrated horrific experiences, which they had never shared with their family before. The incidents are increasing so rapidly, that girl students are terrified to go out with male friends or family members. We have decided to start a counseling session for our students now, that earlier did not exist in colleges.”

Professor Vasudha Kamat, vice chancellor of SNDT Women’s University, said, “It was very disheartening to hear about the incident that happened in Delhi. We give our girl students self-defense courses and we have enough security guards to guard our students on the campus. But outside, we always encourage our students to be strong and fight back.”

Anil Garg, chairman of School Bus Owners Association, said, “We really condemn the incident that happened with the girl in Delhi. The government should have prohibited manufacturers from making tainted glass for vehicles, instead of running behind the vehicles and stopping them now. School buses don’t have tinted glasses and if a school bus is found to have any, we will request the bus owner to remove them, as it is a Supreme Court order. We may not install cameras inside buses, but it would be better if the government placed them at every junction and signal.” 

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