Security at universities not good enough

Security at universities not good enough

Despite patrolling by police, several roads on campuses are isolated, unsafe to walk or drive

Students want better security at  universities across the Capital.Despite the three prominent Universities in the city coming up with anti-sexual harassment cells in their campuses, police security and patrolling, women students still feel unsafe specially during the evening and night hours.

In Delhi University, every department and college has an anti-sexual harassment complaint committee.

“The guards are visible patrolling but there are several stretches which are isolated. After dark, there is always a sense of fear. Otherwise, North Campus is safe; there are not many eve teasing cases that I have witnessed,” said a third year student, Shweta Arora of Miranda House. Since North Campus has so many prominent colleges and professors’ houses, the DU faculty also plays an active role in addressing security concerns, she pointed out.

On other hand, she also added that the stretch in front of Khalsa college, Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) is very deserted. “There used to be bus stops on this stretch but since they are not functional anymore, the road from our college hostel and Khalsa College is unsafe to take,” Arora added.

The stretch from School of Open learning (SOL) up to the Rugby stadium made during Commonwealth Games (CWG) is also isolated. Some cases of molestation have also been reported from there. The colleges in south campus are very scattered with long isolated stretches. Cases like the Dhaula Kuan rape case have made female students on their guard all the time.

“The location of Venkateswara College is deserted. A sense of danger always looms over the campus,” said Geetika Nath, student of Sri Venkateswara College. According to the Deputy Proctor (DU), Manoj Arora, less known colleges out of the campus do not have strict provisions regarding the safety of the women students.

“We have written several letters to colleges to enhance security but being autonomous bodies, colleges do what they think fit,” he said.

He informed colleges like St Stephen's, Hindu, Ramjas have installed CCTV cameras in their premises. “But it is still not enough,” said a senior official. According to DU vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh, installing cameras in several key areas of the campus can be a way to tighten security for women. “The police have suggested vigilance cameras, which I believe will be of help,” Singh said.

In Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU), the Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment plays an intrinsic role. The women students feel more liberated and safe inside the campus. “The faculty as well as male students are more progressive in their approach towards women's safety. Though the security at the gate is quite strict, isolated cases of outsiders coming inside the campus and leching or eve teasing occur sometimes,” said Prarthana Pandit, post graduate student of Economics.

In Jamia Milia Islamia, the women students though aware of the two committees, ‘Sparsh’ for gender sensitisation and a complaints committee, feel that the former is not very active in the campus.

While women in JNU did know about the gender sensitisation committee, students from DU and Jamia had mixed information about its existence and how safe and helpful it was to get conselling while keeping their identity undisclosed. 

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