Days after the Capital was rocked by yet another horrific incident of a 25-year-old woman being raped in a cab, an HT Education online poll of 714 young visitors, mostly college and university students across India, to its website (www.hindustantimes.com/education/) had some startling revelations. Those polled said that their colleges and universities were not doing enough to curb sexual harassment or violence on campuses. About 37% said their teachers were not gender-sensitive; and 30% said they had dealt with a sexual harassment case.
Asked if their colleges were doing enough to curb sexual harassment or violence on campus; 50% said the institutes “were not serious about it,” while 34% said they were happy with the initiatives. Forty eight per cent said their college did not have a sexual harassment cell or policy redressal mechanism. Thirty seven per cent said their teachers were not gender-sensitive. Though a majority of respondents (63%) said they had not encountered any instance of sexual harassment on campus, 31% said they had. A heartening 68% said they would make all efforts to report a sexual harassment/violence case on campus, but 27% said they would be too scared to report.
Nearly 43% of students felt that their colleges would take action or support a victim of sexual harassment. Sixty five per cent said they could not imagine studying in an institute which did not have a firm sexual harassment policy or cell. In what seems to be indicative of young people getting fed-up of the harassment of women, 56% said they would want to get involved in safety initiatives of their colleges. Surprisingly, 25% said they did not have the time to get involved and 20% said they were already helping their institute handle such cases.
Students who have faced violence also admitted to being depressed and losing focus (27%). The most positive reaction came from 57% respondents, who said they had faced life courageously after being harassed or molested.
Universities in action
Jamia Millia Islamia
Sexual harassment committee Counselling
Jawaharlal Nehru University
Gender sensitisation committee Orientation camps
University of Delhi
Internal complaints committee Refresher courses for teachers
Banaras Hindu University
Complaints committee ­comprising about 11 members
Presidency University, Kolkata
Committee against sexual harassment
SPARSH and GD policy in place
About 714 students responded to HT Education’s (www.hindustantimes.com/education/) online poll from around India on sexual harassment and violence on campuses.