Women Don’t Operate Lifts: SRM VC on Why a Man Was in Girls Hostel

Women Don’t Operate Lifts: SRM VC on Why a Man Was in Girls Hostel

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Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
Reporter:
Smitha TK

A second year undergraduate student of SRM Institute of Science and Technology in Chennai was sexually harassed by a man in an elevator in her own hostel. The man, identified as Arjun, has now been arrested and charged with under section 294 B and 354.

The SRM Chancellor said that there are no regular male workers in the hostel. He also told The Quint that they have assured those concerned that they will have "a strong protocol by which a lady guard will accompany the male worker."

Though the Chancellor says there are no regular male workers in the hostel, one stroll through the place by The Quint shows that there are in fact, quite a lot of men working in the girls’ hostel.

He also said that if there is an emergency and male support is available, “it would be foolish on my part to not let him work.” Stating that the accused is a lift operator, he also said that he has never seen a lady who is a lift operator.

The reaction of the authorities following the incident has triggered protests and outrage.

(Photo Courtesy: Instagram/Anonymous Student)

The man was a worker in the campus. But when the girl complained to the college authorities, not only was she denied adequate measures, but she and other girls standing with her were also allegedly accused of wearing short clothes, drinking and smoking in the hostel and told that the incident occurred because she was a 'north Indian' girl studying in a south Indian city.

(Photo Courtesy: Instagram/Anonymous Student)
(Photo Courtesy: Instagram/Anonymous Student)
(Photo Courtesy: Instagram/Anonymous Student)

Students of the institute broke the hostel gates and took to the streets to protest. However, the protest subsequently dissolved into a mayhem with suspected injuries.

Stop Texting Unwanted Things or I Will Take Action Against You: Warden

The Quint accessed WhatsApp conversations with the floor warden in which the girls are collectively urging her to take action. It was only after this that the girls decided to assemble at 7 pm on Thursday, 22 November evening and take matters into their own hands.

In the WhatsApp conversation, the floor warden can be seen asking the girls to refrain from posting “unwanted things” on the group, or “i will take action against you.”

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    (Photo: The Quint)
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    (Photo: The Quint)
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    (Photo: The Quint)
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    (Photo: The Quint)

"You're Making an Issue Out of Nothing": SRM VC

Dr Sandeep Sancheti, vice chancellor (VC) of the institute, however, thought that issue was nothing.

As shown in a video that was shared on social media, Dr Sancheti is being asked by a student why he is laughing. In response to that, the VC says:

“You’re making an issue out of nothing. I’m laughing at you because of the way you’re speaking.”
Dr Sandeep Sancheti, SRM VC

Outrage and Support on Social Media

Various poeple have taken to social media, to protest the apathy of the authorities and to provide their support to the survivor.

(Photo Courtesy: Instagram/Anonymous Student)

A former student of SRM told The Quint:

“This kind of culture is systemic in SRM. The sexism, the racism and even the escapism whenever things come to light. It just boiled over the edge last night. It’s been going on for a while.”

Another student at the university said the issue has been brought up in the university many times in multiple meetings but no action has been taken.

“Injustice has happened in this campus. I’m very sad to say that its sexual abuse against my fellow female students. This has been brought up in several meetings – in one of these meetings, I sat as a representative from my campus but since then, no action has been taken. I urge serious action against the male person who is working inside the campus and I urge safeguarding the integrity of my female college mates.”
Student

However, a medical college student told us that the security is always too tight around the girls’ hostel. He said that there are male workers for the boys’ hostel and female workers for the girls’ hostel.

“Even if we go and play near the girls’ hostel, they don’t allow us to stay there for long as the throw ball court is right opposite the girls’ hostel. I don’t know why they allowed this guy inside the hostel. I think we need some changes in the management, lets see what happens.”
Student

One student has even left the hostel due to the harassment from male employees in the university. She said that this is too often, and that the clothing does not matter.

“It happened with me even when I was wearing a proper Indian attire.”
Student

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