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Delhi University Fests 2018: Sexual harassment-free fun is authorities’ and students’ plan

To maintain safety during college fests, DU colleges are looking to add more security and volunteers; visitors also have their strategies ready.

delhi Updated: Jan 30, 2018 19:08 IST
Aditya Dogra
Aditya Dogra
Hindustan Times
Delhi University,Fest Season,College Fests
A still of KK’s concert at Shri Ram College of Commerce during Crossroads — their annual cultural fest. Star nights as these tend to get too crowded for one’s comfort.(Manoj Verma/JHT Photo)

Sexual harassment — you’d hear these two words everywhere these days, and rightly so. People around the world are calling out inappropriate behaviour, and taking the fight against harassment to the streets. Delhi University (DU) college fests, as fun as they might be, have had some shocking instances.

Last year, a student shared her horrible experience of being masturbated on by a guy at the star night of Shri Ram College of Commerce’s fest. Another girl was sexually harassed during the annual fest of Hindu college, and some others complained of inappropriate behaviour at Hansraj College’s star night.

In an effort to curb such incidents, college authorities and students are upping the security to increase vigilance.

“Safety for all at the fest is of utmost importance and the college does not tolerate any untoward behaviour at all. We are aware of previous year’s issues and thus will definitely have security measures in place to ensure safety. The conveners will also be holding a meeting with the college union in the following week to finalise all details, and we might have more volunteers and security personnel deployed for our fest Tempest this year,” says Kanchan, a college union member of Miranda House.

“Our college has never faced such an issue as we host a niche crowd and have enough security. Our priority is to ensure the safety of not just women, but every visitor,” says Kajal Kaushik, president of Institute of Home Economics.

Students planning to go fest hopping are also making strategies to keep themselves safe. “There is a lot that can happen in a crowd of strangers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t tackle it. We attend fests in groups, and stay together. If an area gets too crowded, we move to more open spots or fence around the girls in our group to keep them out of reach of any creep lurking around,” says Rustam Mazumdar, a third year student of Delhi College of Arts and Commerce.

Disha Dadlani, a second year student of Indraprastha College for Women, says being vigilant means half the battle won. “We need to stay alert at such events because there are people around who can cause trouble. It’s a good idea to go out in groups and look out for each other. Besides, there are authorities in place that can tackle unfortunate situations, so one can seek help,” she says.

Women, take note
  • Each college has on-campus security as well as officers of Delhi Police around. In an unfortunate situation, you can approach them immediately.
  • Important helpline numbers:
  • Delhi Commission for Women — 23379181/ 23370597
  • Delhi Police Helplines — 1091/ 1291/ 23317004
  • JAGORI —26692700
  • National Commission for Women — 23237166/ 23234918
  • National Human Rights Commission — 9810298900/ 23385368

First Published: Jan 30, 2018 19:04 IST