While the 2012 Delhi gangrape generated widespread protests and discussions,it has inspired a group of girls from Fergusson College to take concrete step towards ensuring safety of women. These girls,studying in Class XII,have set up a forum War Against Rape (WAR) to make female students mentally and physically strong to protect themselves from any possible abuse or attack. It all started with a discussion among our friends about the gruesome Delhi gangrape. We decided to take certain initiative at our level rather than merely discuss the issue. We resolved that we would not keep blaming the system,but would emerge as some solution provider. Further brainstorming gave an idea to form a forum dedicated to women safety, said Shreeya Ladkat,one of the conveners of WAR.
While the forum will be inaugurated on October 14,WAR members have charted out an exhaustive activity schedule. Pallavi Deshpande,a forum convener,said WAR would undertake different measures so that girl students would emerge stronger to deal with any kind of difficult situation.
Workshops to teach defence techniques to girls tops our agenda. We have roped in different experts for this. Motivation speeches by women who have been leading from the front will be also arranged. We will soon launch a dedicated helpline for girls on campus. Spreading awareness about different legal provisions that ensure women safety too is on our agenda, she said.
While WAR will be make its presence felt on Fergusson College campus to begin with,these girls have worked out plans to spread its network gradually to other colleges also. College vice-principal Leela Mali-Joshi,who is instrumental behind genesis of a forum of girls students,said the initiative would boost confidence among girls. Every college has around 50 per cent girls among total students. Being in their young age,these girl students often fail to cope with incidences like eve-teasing and other abuses. Most of the girls do not share such incidences with families for fear of discontinuation of studies. At WAR,we will also offer counselling to girls about handling eve-teasing and other such social evils, she said.
Mali-Joshi said incidences like eve-teasing,if ignored,often aggravate into sexual assaults on girls,and therefore the forum formed by her college students was named War Against Rape. Senior police inspector Sushama Chavan of the Cyber cell of Pune police and other noted personalities will attend the inauguration of WAR at Fergusson College.