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For safe campuses, MU makes self-defence training for women a must in colleges

Institutes have also been asked to mandatorily set up an interactive and target-oriented students’ counselling system to address concerns like anxiety, stress, fear of change, failure to homesickness.

Written by Mihika Basu | Mumbai |
May 13, 2015 2:10:59 am
mumbai university, self defence training, defence training for women, mumbai university news, mu news, india news, mumbai news, indian express, indian express news In the face of increasing cases of sexual harassment and violence against women, it is incumbent upon institutes to set up a “thoroughgoing support and education mechanism”.

Making self-defence training for women on campus through tie-ups with training institutions or NGOs a mandatory component of extra-curricular activities of higher educational institutions and preparing an exhaustive code of conduct for students and displaying it on the institute’s website and prospectus are some of the measures that Mumbai University has asked its affiliated colleges to implement for safety of students on campus, as per with University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines. It says in the face of increasing cases of sexual harassment and violence against women, it is incumbent upon institutes to set up a “thoroughgoing support and education mechanism” and asks institutes to organise prevention programmes in collaboration with student groups. “Physical defence training can follow instructions on rape aggression and defence model that focuses on strategies like awareness, risk reduction, risk avoidance and hands-on self-defence techniques,” it says. The university has asked colleges to submit their implementation reports.

Further, deploying at least one woman security guard at entry points of physical infrastructure housing students so that physical security check of girl students and visitors can be undertaken, and bags and other belongings of students or visitors can be examined manually or by metal detectors in order to secure a weapon-free and violence-free campus. The guidelines say that setting up a university police station within the premises of institutions, whenever feasible, can go a long way in instilling a sense of security among students and scare nuisance makers and petty criminals. It says officials of such a station can not only handle any crisis situation in an instant, but also prevent untoward happenings by security measures like night patrols.

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“It is understandable that classes, study, research, meetings, films or concerts can keep up students on campus late at night. To handle these situations, police officials can provide on demand, short distance escort services to students as they walk down to hostel or nearest taxi or bus stand,” it says.

It asks institutions to flash frequently-visited junctions like canteen and notice boards, helpline numbers against ragging, sexual harassment, accidents, calamities, and so on, developed by UGC, state governments or institutions, so that students can record and use them when required. “In order to ensure that campus community receives timely, accurate and useful information in the event of a significant emergency or dangerous situation on campus or in the local area that poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of campus community members, institutions can install emergency notification system through which emergency message can be sent via email, telephone, cellphone, within minutes of the occurrence of an incident,” stipulate the guidelines.

Institutes have also been asked to mandatorily set up an interactive and target-oriented students’ counselling system to address concerns like anxiety, stress, fear of change, failure to homesickness. “Teacher counsellors, trained to act as guardians of students at the college level, should remain in close touch with the students attached to them (batch of 25 students) throughout the year and convey their growth report to their parents at regular intervals,” it says. The university also issued instructions with regards to students’ safety during tours, academic trips and excursions.

mihika.basu@expressindia.com

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