The Telegraph
Friday , January 18 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Safety of girls on campus in focus

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 17: A series of measures to secure the safety of girl students on college campuses in the city have been suggested by the department of higher education.

However, the suggestions have not gone down well with some students.

“Why should the restrictions be for girl students alone? Why don’t they think of restricting the movement of boys too?” asked Namrata, a student of Ramadevi.

In the wake of repeated incidents of violence against girls in the state, the higher education department has decided to beef up security arrangements for girls in colleges.

The department, in a letter to all colleges, has directed the authorities to strengthen security on campus to ensure that girl students have access to “a safe and congenial learning environment”.

According to the directive, there will be restriction on outsiders’ entry into the college campuses and 24-hour security arrangement for ladies’ hostels.

This apart, the colleges have been asked to maintain regular contact with the guardians of girl students. Students have been directed to carry their identity cards at all times. Besides, women teachers have been asked to accompany girl students during field visits and study tours.

Colleges have been asked to put in place a “proper system” to monitor the behaviour of students, counsel them, record students’ complaints and take action against troublemakers accordingly.

The principals have been requested to take the leading role in sensitising students on safety and security and protection of their rights and liberties.

“A complete guide in this regard will be sent to all colleges,” said director of higher education Satyakam Mishra.

“It has become important to make a serious review of the system for the protection of the rights and liberties of girl students. Also, we need to detect complacencies, if any, that have crept into the system,” he said.

In addition to the measures suggested by the department, the authorities will be at liberty to take any other step necessary for providing security to girls, he said.

The principal of a reputed college in the city said on condition of anonymity that it would be difficult to implement the directive.

“Not only do we have a shortage of staff, but students themselves will react unfavourably to these steps,” said the principal.