I’ve been trying to reach out to colleges/universities to have something on the lines of Zero Sexual Harassment or Anti Sexual Harassment cells. There have been some discussions with a couple of educational institutions but nothing worked out yet. But that’s not an excuse for not trying harder.
There are Tejpals who are famous and those who are not, but the reality is they are there in all walks of life. Sometimes they appear as one of our family members, sometimes as our teachers, sometimes as our priests and sometimes as someone else. But they exist. That’s the sad reality, but what’s more shocking is despite such shocking incidents there are no checks and balances in place – all we ever get is more committees and new bills and proposals for new laws.
The point is if we leave it up to the government and our elected leaders we wouldn’t get anything other than these committees and laws. What we need is Anti Sexual Harassment cells or Zero Sexual Harassment cells in every public and private institutions to
- create awareness – conduct events, debates, discussions
- provide access to legal and financial help to the victims – stand by the victims when they need the most
- help prevent victimization of the victims
- more on these lines
Why can’t this be a part of the system, any system. If we can have environment regulations, building regulations, safety regulations, fire regulations, why can’t this also be one of the regulations. Once this become part of the regulations they can be audited for how well they adhere to the regulations. It could be my wishful thinking but that’s what is required since we can’t afford to let the Tejpal’s go unchecked and unpunished – the system must nip the Tejpals in the bud.
Obviously the onus is on us to see to it that this is done irrespective of whether the government make this mandatory or not. I would even take my wishful thinking one step ahead – the public/private institutions must all be rated based on how well they adhere to the anti sexual harassment guidelines. Unless this becomes part of our day to day lives the Tejpals are only going to get more reckless and more shameless. The Tejpals don’t need company, they need to be outnumbered and defeated.
So what can we do?
We are students, alumni of educational institutions, we are employees of private/public organizations. So let’s start with them. Lets request them irrespective of whether is mandated by the government that they create such Anti Sexual Harassment or Zero Sexual Harassment cells and also proudly claim that they have these cells. Why can’t we do this?