Women support group' Pehal' has taken yet another landmark step towards ensuring the safety of girls students staying off DU campus.
The group, which consists of volunteers from different colleges, has embarked upon a project of collecting database of girl students who do not get a hostel accommodation during their studies at the university.
"It is not a NGO, it is a women support group where people come and join in voluntarily for a social cause. The project has elicited more than 100 responses and we are looking for more. This will bring accountability to the colleges and landlords too, where these girl students are staying", says 'Pehal' founding member 'Shormishtha Panja', who is also the dean of Arts at the university.
"We are collecting information about the accommodation off the campus through this project, so that the college authorities can keep a track on them to ensure girls' safety.
While collecting information, we will distribute questionnaires to the students who are taking admission in the first year, to inform them of their rights as a paying guest".
It will also consist of tips and suggestion on how to handle the landlords, some of whom can be deceitful and crooked". She adds.
The support group, founded in March, 2005, which consists of faculty members of DU, has been a great support to the women who face sexual harassments or any form of mental and physical tortures.
"We had a case in which 3 outstation girls were duped of an exorbitant some of money. In another case the landlord was exploiting the tenant sexually. When we get complaints like this, we initially try to talk out things with the landlords and if it gets rigorously grave we take the matter to the police." Says Panja
The movement does not restrict to the students only, it is meant for the safety of every woman staying on and off the campus, be it a teacher, a student or worker.
With a group of several members, which consist of male students and teachers too, 'Pehal' organises frequent talks, meeting and skits to raise the women issues and to show their commitment to the cause.
"We want to make the campus a better and safer place for girls", announces Shormishtha.
'Pehal' helpline no.-9999273342