The Bandra polytechnic has come in for criticism from students for segregating boys and girls in its canteen. Last week the college demarcated separate spaces for girls and boys within the canteen. While the principal was unavailable for comment, an official said the segregation was to prevent sexual harassment of girls.
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While the decision was taken for the safety of girl students, students termed the move discriminatory. “Canteen is a place where we get to socialise with classmates. It is where we discuss projects and share notes,” said a student, on the condition of anonymity. He said that it was unfair to ask girls and boys to sit separately. “Educational institutes are supposed to broaden the perceptions of students, not restrict their freedom at this age,” he said.
“Such a move is regressive in nature. What is worse is students usually don’t raise their voices against the management out of fear,” said Vijeta Bhonkar, state president of student organisation Vidyarthi Bharti. In January, the Vidyarthi Bharti protested against the management of SNDT University for asking students to dress decently on campus. “After understanding the views of students of the college on the issue, the Vidyarthi Bharti may take some action on the lines of the protests in SNDT,” she said.