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Updated: July 26, 2013 13:20 IST

Lock ’em up to keep them safe, bureaucrat says of women

Staff Reporter
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Ramesh B. Zalki, Principal Secretary of the Department of Women and Child, said colleges should ensure girl students don’t go out of the hostel between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. File photo: AP
Ramesh B. Zalki, Principal Secretary of the Department of Women and Child, said colleges should ensure girl students don’t go out of the hostel between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. File photo: AP

Educational institutions should behave like strict policemen: Zalki

If Ramesh B. Zalki has his way, girl students in educational institutions will have to face a series of restrictions in the name of safety.

The Principal Secretary of the Department of Women and Child Development, advised heads of educational institutions to keep reading rooms, libraries and laboratories accessible to students only during specific hours, besides restraining girls from venturing out of the hostel alone at night-time.

Urging educational institutions to take “preventive” steps to tackle crimes against women, he said: “Institutes should behave like strict policemen.”

Mr. Zalki’s exhortations came at a workshop organised by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to sensitise management and teachers of technical institutions to tackle the sexual crimes against women as per the directions of the Ministry of Human Resources Development.

Call for norms

Referring to instances of rapes reported near National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in Bangalore and of a medical student from Manipal University, Mr. Zalki said there was a need for institutes to come out with their own regulations. “There will be protests, but there is a need for this (regulations).”

CCTV, registry

Some of the other suggestions Mr. Zalki made were to install CCTV cameras across colleges, maintain a register at the entry and exit points and ensure that girl students don’t go out of the hostel between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Colleges should have a complaint redressal mechanism and display boards with safety messages. Another panellist, Renu Bapna, advisor to the AICTE, concurred with Mr. Zalki’s suggestions. “There are instances where women instigate men and that needs to be stopped.”

She urged managements to ensure “proper” dress code in college. “Dresses that are vulgar should be avoided.” Colleges should introduce value system and clinical psychology as a part of the curriculum, she said, and declared that cultural festivals were “centres of indecency and sexual harassment”.

Drawing flak

Mr. Zalki’s and Ms. Bapna’s homilies drew flak from both students and faculty members who termed them “regressive”.

Later, asked by the media about the measures his department would take to ensure women’s safety, Mr. Zalki remained non-committal and said these were “merely suggestions” as security of women was a “complex” issue.

Criticised

Lashing out against both him and Ms. Bapna, Pramila Nesargi, former chairperson of Karnataka State Commission for Women, said women’s rights should not be curbed in the name of protecting them.

“If [so], how can we expect women’s empowerment? Article 14 of the Constitution (which guarantees equality before law) will remain only in paper,” she said, winning a loud applause from the audience.

Mr. Zalki is right in suggesting that, normally, the girls be restricted from going out during 10 Pm to 7 Am . Parents who love their children don't allow their daughters to go out during the night if the girls stay with parents,especially in a middle class Indian society. In the hostels, the warden of the hostel will take care of the inmates and it will be his sole responsibility to protect them in the absence of the parents. Allowing to go out in night is not empowerment and denial is not locking and moral policing. '65 years of freedom' can also be enjoyed between 7AM to 10PM. When the world goes to bed during 10Pm to 7 Am anything untoward may happen to anybody. Is it wrong to suggest to take 'preventive' steps when it comes to safety of the girls? His suggestions have good intentions and not meant to snatch the freedom & liberty available in democratic India for girls.

from:  Suresh
Posted on: Jul 26, 2013 at 21:06 IST

Excellent suggestion, Mr. Zaiki!- except it should be effected on the men.

from:  reetu
Posted on: Jul 26, 2013 at 17:21 IST

You know hwat beaurocrats like you must be locked up first in a cellar. cause you dont know a thing about human rights do you. Do you Mr.Beaurocrat even understand the constitution that says "RIGHT TO EQUALITY" either you dont understand english or the CONSTITUTION has to be rewritten to suit your whims.

from:  manisha sara
Posted on: Jul 26, 2013 at 15:24 IST

Here is a suggestion: why not lock up the men who are causing the crime
problems? That should take care of the problem!
Both Mr. Zalki and Ms. Bapna need to find new jobs. What a shame, that
he was given this portfolio over all others.

from:  lrao
Posted on: Jul 26, 2013 at 15:16 IST

Women are not getting the respect and status they deserve in our society because of educated fools who get a chance to frame rules to control women. He might be doing the same at home. Narrow minded bureaucrats are a danger to our society. People should ignore the foolish comments of these babus.

from:  Rakesh
Posted on: Jul 26, 2013 at 14:03 IST

Instead of that why don't you give capital punishement to molesters
and rapers. Why do the police try to solve the case outside court. Why
public are becoming gundas and police is helping them to be more
stonger. A common person will always be scared if police does not help
the common people by arresting those gundas. Why the MLA or MP
supports these gundas. Why police takes bribe to release these gundas
from bar.

If you solve these problems automatically girls will be empowered.
Think for a solution not a problem. You are trying to create a problem
when some or the other day the revolution will start. See other
countries where girl walks alone in the road at midnight without fear.
Thats the thing you should bring in India.

from:  AD
Posted on: Jul 26, 2013 at 11:26 IST
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