Following the accusations of a research scholar at St Stephens College, accusing a professor of sexual harassment, the Delhi Commission for Women chairperson, Swati Maliwal, on Wednesday met Delhi University Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh and urged him that colleges under DU should upload the details of their respective sexual harassment committees on their websites.
“We have told him that colleges under DU should upload the details of their respective sexual harassment committees on their websites so that students and staff become aware of their existence. The VC has assured us that he will send letters to all colleges to do the same,” Maliwal said.
Maliwal also stressed on the need to publicise Sexual Harassment Committee, an authority to deal with such cases. Further steps to enhance women safety were also discussed between the DU VC and the DCW chairperson, including the status of police patrolling.
“The condition of street lights in the University and college campus and vicinity was another major area of discussion. The chairperson is planning to write to individual colleges to know the condition of street lights in the campus. If need be, DCW will send notices to PWD and get the street lights working,” said a DCW official
The joint efforts of DCW and the university to make colleges safer for women is commendable and indeed a worthy step towards women protection. The details of sexual harassment committees on college websites shall not only make it convenient for students to seek redress but also warn prospective culprits against acts of harassment.
While the pros are obvious, the cons cannot be ignored. In the light of recent fake cases of sexual harassment cropping up, possibility of framing innocents becoming easier cannot be completely ruled out.
“The status of police patrolling being discussed is a noteworthy step and would be much appreciated if they do something about security inside campus. Not long ago, when I was misbehaved with inside the premises, the guards refused to even confront the delinquents as they feared they’d be tackled outside college if they took any step”, says Shreya, a second year student of DU.
In conclusion, all of it boils down to the fact that the endeavour seems effective in theory, but its impact can only be assessed once implemented.