For most of Delhi, Holi is the time for unihibited fun. But for students like Mrinal Manjari, Fatima Kabir Chaudhry and Hemlata Rawat, it is time to stay alert and indoors.
They like celebrating the festival of colours of course. But the humiliation they have been subjected to in the past is what keeps them on their toes.
Mrinal Manjari, a third year student of Daulat Ram College, is wary of stepping outside her paying-guest (PG) accommodation in Vijay Nagar near North Campus.
“The boarders of boys hostel and PGs create nuisance every year during holi,” she said.
“They get drunk, yell obscenities and throw water balloons filled with colours and sometimes with filth at women. It is practically impossible for girls to move around in the campus a week before holi.”
The varsity authorities have, like every year, taken steps to check acts of hooliganism on and around the campus. Law enforcing agencies have been asked to maintain constant vigilance. The Delhi Transport Corporation staff has been asked to drive the buses to the nearest police station in case of any act of hooligansim in the bus.
Fatima Kabir Chaudhury, a first-year law student, was hit with balloons inside a bus within the campus.
“When we try to protest, the onlookers say, ‘arre beta holi mein to bachche khelenge’ (the children will celebratre the festival). The police are of not much help either,” she said.
On February 26, a delegation of women from Centre for Struggling Women, a forum for welfare of women students, submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister's office asking for immediate intervention.