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Mumbai University plans workshop to tackle suicide

The University of Mumbai will soon be conducting a workshop for teachers of all affiliated colleges in the city, to detect suicidal tendencies in their students. The teachers will be shown how to identify students who are isolating themselves, victims of ragging, warning signs that they are contemplating suicide. They will also be sensitised about counseling students scoring less marks, as well as victims of sexual harassment and verbal abuse.

Meanwhile, the department of social psychology is also conducting a campaign to sensitise people on sexual harassment.

Dr Neelkanth Bankar, professor of Social Psychology, said, “The first workshop happened in 2010, when the vice-chancellor was newly elected. The response from college principals was not that huge, but we are requesting them to send their teachers this time. Last time, we trained around 100 teachers to prevent students from committing suicide.”

Sexual harassment
On the agenda: The department of Social Psychology of Mumbai University is also conducting a campaign to sensitise people on sexual harassment. Representation pic

He added, “This time, we may also discuss molestation, sexual and verbal abuse with female students, who are often not heard when they try to tell their parents. A team of six professors will provide this training, including our head of department.”

Four students from the social psychology department will be conducting a persuasive campaign in January to educate the public about sexual harassment.

Dr Gautam Gawali, head of Department of Applied Psychology, said, “Most of the time, girls either go unheard, or do not come forward with their problems. Training teachers in identifying students who are isolating themselves from others will help us to reduce
suicidal rates amongst our students.”

Ashvin Misra (25), a social activist and founder of an NGO named CARMA (Citizens Against Rapists, Molesters & Atrocities), has started a Facebook page to appeal to the government to come out with a strict bill for such heinous acts on women.

Misra said, “We are going to form a human chain outside IIT on Saturday to spread the word till the government. We want the government to pass a strict bill on this act. The accused in the recent rape of a Spanish national had many cases of rape against him, but he was still out of prison. It is very disheartening that the accused are released on bail after such acts. Hence, we want the government to come up with a strict penalty and I am expecting a good response from citizens.”

207
The number of rape cases Mumbai police have registered in 2011-12

552
The number of molestation cases Mumbai police have registered in the same duration 

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