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Don’t trust govt officials, say NIVH students as protests enter eighth day

Almost 240 students from Model School have been on protest since last week. Female students have accused their music teacher, Sachit Narang, of sexual molestation. The students have also complained about poor quality of food and lack of security on the campus. 

dehradun Updated: Aug 24, 2018 01:05 IST
HT Correspondent
NIVH,protest,sexual abuse
Primary demands of the protesting students include removal of the music teacher Sachit Narang and the institute’s director Anuradha Dalmia. On Wednesday, the state minister for women and child welfare had visited NIVH and announced that Dalmia will be terminated. Narang, however, is still absconding. (PTI/Picture for representation)

Continuing their eight-day protest, students from class 6-12 of the National Institute for Visually Handicapped (NIVH) expressed distrust over government officials.

“We have been on strike from August 15. So many officials have spoken to us and but our demand as basic as removal of dogs from the campus has also not been met. The music teacher is still absconding. How can we trust anyone,” Vikas, a student, said.

Chairperson of Uttarakhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (USCPCR) Usha Negi visited the students on Thursday evening.

“Talks are on with the students regarding their demands. The Chairperson wants to set a deadline for all their demands in consultation with the students themselves. Work orders regarding appointment of female staff and other requests shall be decided accordingly,” an official of USCPCR said.

Almost 240 students from Model School have been on protest since last week. Female students have accused their music teacher, Sachit Narang, of sexual molestation. The students have also complained about poor quality of food and lack of security on the campus.

“We have prepared a list of 31 demands. Until all of these are met, we will not be moving from here,” said Gambhir Singh Chauhan, another student.

Their primary demands include the removal of the music teacher Narang and the institute’s director Anuradha Dalmia. On Wednesday, state minister of women and child welfare had visited NIVH and announced that Dalmia will be terminated. Narang, however, is still absconding.

“We are taught about good touch, bad touch and are told to inform the authorities in case we experience a bad touch. But when we gave a written complaint to the director about the sexual exploitation by our music teacher, she refused to take our letter,” Ananya (name changed), a student, said.

“We have complained to the vice principal a number of times that the guards and mess workers misbehave with us and pass comments on us. She always tells us girls that it must be our fault. She asks us not to wear shorts when we go to eat food in the mess and to wear dupattas,” Ananya added.

The students were visited by a team of All India Confederation of the Blind (AICB) on Thursday, who took stock of the situation. “Our team has talked to the students and also clicked pictures of how unhygienic the campus is. They keep water coolers next to the toilets. Cleanliness is a major problem here. It is really pathetic,” secretary general of AICB JL Kaul said.

Students have been manning the gates of the institution to ensure that no ‘unwanted people’ should enter the campus. “They have been troubling us for a long time. Now we want to trouble them. Hence, we are guarding the gates ourselves,” Vikas, a student, added.

First Published: Aug 24, 2018 01:05 IST