I was aghast on reading the steps mooted by the Puducherry Education Department to prevent the harassment of girl students (Jan. 6). Separate buses for boys and girls, overcoats for girls, and reducing the “contact” between students! Thank god it has not recommended blinders for boys.

Are we not sending a wrong message to youngsters that any inter-mingling of the sexes is undesirable? That boys are girls’ natural enemies? What we need is an attitudinal change, not lopsided cosmetic action. Why can’t the department think of a broader plan to teach children how to relate to the opposite sex in a healthy manner?

T.U. James,

Ernakulam

How can the separation of girls and boys, separate buses and overcoats for girls stop crimes against women? The Puducherry prescription is nothing but a ploy by the government to shirk its responsibility.

Instead of instilling confidence in the minds of our daughters and sisters, we are telling them that if girls distance themselves from boys, they will be safe. What message are we seeking to send?

Aditya Pancholi,

Rajasthan

The Puducherry government has prescribed overcoats for school girls, unmindful of the climatic conditions that prevail in the region. The mindset of people at the helm is incomprehensible. The task is becoming more complicated with the thinking in official circles pointing to the Talibanisation of our womenfolk.

This attitude should be nipped in the bud. It is time our leaders addressed the real issue instead of concentrating on the peripherals.

G.B. Sivanandam,

Coimbatore

I am flabbergasted that our politicians actually believe that the segregation of boys and girls can help reduce crimes against women. Isn’t it imperative at this moment to bring about gender awareness and sensitisation rather than separate boys from girls? It is human nature to become more curious about what is forbidden. Hasn’t history taught us that much?

The need of the hour is to make boys aware of the opposite sex, and teach them to respect girls, accept them and be sensitive to their needs. This cannot be achieved by isolating them.

V. Rosaline Ann,

Chennai

That the Puducherry prescription has drawn flak is no surprise. When students finish their education and become professionals, they will be forced to interact with the opposite sex. They will find it difficult to adjust then.

The government should instead focus on counselling students so that they become broad-minded and imbibe morals right from young age.

Our national pledge says “All Indians are my brothers and sisters.” Students should be made to grasp the true meaning of such words.

S. Arjun Prasanna,

Chennai

Although many schools follow a co-education system and there are many advantages in it, separate sections for boys and girls should be introduced from class 8.

This will help increase their focus on studies rather than provide unnecessary distraction.

S. Sankaranarayanan,

Chennai

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