Mumbai university students want complaint boxes at several spots on the Kalina campus. They also want the varsity to relax the curfew hours imposed on the women’s hostel and gender sensitization to be made part of the curriculum.
On Tuesday, nearly 30 representatives of students from several departments held a meeting to form the University Community for Democracy and Equality (UCDE). The forum plans to present an eight-point charter of demands, with several signatures on it, regarding women’s safety on campus to vice-chancellor Rajan Welukar.
The students decided to set up the forum after a peace march in the first week of January to protest the Delhi gangrape. to discuss and promote the values of democracy, egalitarianism and justice among the varsity community and beyond.
Several students had come together to hold a peace march in the campus in the first week of January against the brutal rape and assault of the 23-year-old girl in Delhi. After the protest march, the students thought of setting up a forum to discuss and promote the values of democracy, egalitarianism and justice among the university community and beyond.
“The forum will comprise the university’s students, teachers and the non-teaching staff,” said Prashant Singh, the forum spokesperson.
“The forum will have members from the students, teachers and the non-teaching staff communities of the university,” said Prashant Singh, the spokesperson of the community. Around 30 students attended the meeting held at the campus on Tuesday.
Singh added that the demand charter would be submitted to the university with several signatures from the university.
“On Wednesday we plan to conduct a signature campaign on the campus. Signatures will be collected from teachers as well,” he said. The charter of demands includes formation of a committee to address sexual harassment plaints apart from introduction of a non-credit course on gender sensitization for all streams. The forum plans to hold meetings and discussion and will also organize ‘nukkad’ meetings.
Singh added that the eight-point charter of demands would be submitted to the university with several signatures from the university. “On Wednesday we plan to have a signature campaign on the campus for the whole day. Signatures will be collected from teachers as well.” The charter of demands includes formation of a committee against sexual harassment within the campus, apart from introduction of a non-credit course on gender sensitisation for students of all streams. The forum plans to hold meetings and discussion and will also organize nukkad meetings of students on the issue of women’s rights and freedom.
The students also believe that any text promoting misogynist or patriarchal culture in the university curriculum should be removed with immediate effect. “It is just a thought mentioned by one of our colleagues, we will soon try to get examples on the same,” said Singh.
The university’s Women’s Development Cell (WDC) will observe ‘awareness and action day’ on January 23 and ask all colleges to keep a drop box on their campuses for feedback.
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