Chennai, 7 December: College students in the city continue to face sexual harassment on the street and while using public transport. This was discussed today at Intersect, a consultative dialogue between students and the Chennai Police, facilitated by Prajnya as part of the 2010 16 Days Campaign against Gender Violence.
Invitations were sent to over 30 colleges in the city and nine responded positively, submitting a brief that summarized the specific concerns of students in their college.
Students revealed through their responses that they faced harassment particularly in buses, and around bus stands, irrespective of the college location. In addition, an emerging problem is that of SMS and cyber stalking.
The students representatives also observed that the majority of those harassed did not complain or ask for help, mainly because people would think they were making a fuss for no good reason. They welcomed the opportunity to interact directly with the police, suggesting that women police officer visit colleges more frequently and organise meetings and workshops.
Intersect was held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Outdoor Stadium meeting room and attended by representatives from Prajnya as well as several police officers including Joint Commissioner Chennai North Mr. Seshasayee, Deputy Commissioner Kilpauk Ms. S. Lakshmi, Asst Commissioner Vepery Mr. Ashokkumar, Inspector Kilpauk Police Station Subbaraj, Inspector Vepery Police Station Jawahar, Inspector Indian Coach Factory Police Station Muniandi and All-Women's Police Station, Kilpauk Inspector, Aryamala.