In a recent unfolding of events, where women safety has escalated as an issue, anLady Sri Ram College for Women (LSR) student was allegedly catcalled near the College campus where other cases of harassment have also been reported.
On 19th February, a student of the Hindi Department of Lady Sri Ram College for Women (LSR), was reportedly catcalled by an unknown man outside the college, adjacent to the back park area where the Hindi Debating Society of the college: ‘Vaktritva,’ organised their annual parliamentary debating event.
Around 2pm on the same day, the student reported the account of this incident to the Debating Society members and coordinators. She reported of the alleged harasser being under consumption of alcohol or other related substance when he started to direct lewd songs and ogling eyes towards her right outside the campus premise as she was heading towards her PG. However, there are qualms over how they approached the incident.
The Students’ Union of Hindi Department, issued a statement by out rightly calling out the the Hindi Debating Society for being insensitive to the student who faced harassment. They accused the society of showing obtuse actions and claimed that they tried to tone down the incident and normalise it in the garb of concealment by saying things like,” it happens,” “please don’t report it to the cops and create a scene,” “take this with the Women’s Development Cell (WDC)”, and related things when they should have approached things more boldly. The union further questioned the society asking, “what’s even the point of debating inside the huts while one of your own members faces harassment?”
These accusations were retaliated by the Society in their ‘statement of apology,’ where they acknowledged their inadequacy in helping the fellow student and further denied the statements made by the Department Union against them.
They said,”Upon knowing the incident at least five members of the society rushed to the park but the accused had already fled.”
The Society said that they were a victim of subjugation of administration where they themselves had to resort to conduct their event at an unsafe place upon being denied the permission one day prior to the event. They claimed that they tried in their best potential to reach out to this issue but their outreach was highly inadequate.
To counter the accusations they also said, “At no point did we try to normalise harassment but even if that came out from our behaviour we are sorry, it happened unintentionally.”
They further added,”As far as the calling of police is concerned, we as fellow students have no jurisdiction over a public space that is the back park.”
The Debating Society hinted towards a larger concern, it said,”it should be clear that there is no clear redressal mechanism for sexual harassment that has been happening at LSR Back Gate for years and in that all the women of LSR share pain and suffering. The demand and responsibility should therefore, be directed towards the our administration and institution that has rendered all of us in such a hostile position where it was unfortunate that this one particular student suffered what she did.”
In such unfortunate events where a student was catcalled and made uncomfortable in broad daylight, Police reports were also not filed since they put administration’s name in a bad light. In all of this fiasco there’s no one to fix responsibility to and take suitable actions to change the status quo of ignorance.
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat