The Banaras Hindu University (BHU)’s first woman chief proctor has said that there should be no restriction on dress and alcohol for female students on campus.
Royana Singh, an assistant professor at the Institute of Medical Science (Anatomy Department), has been appointed as the Chief Proctor after her predecessor resigned taking moral responsibility for the recent violence on the campus.
A number of students, including women, and two journalists were injured in a baton-charge by the police in BHU where a protest on Saturday night against an alleged eve- teasing incident turned violent.
She is the first woman in varsity’s history to hold the post and also heads the women grievance cell of the university.
“I was born in Europe. I frequently travel to Europe and Canada. Putting a dressing restriction on girls would be like imposing it on myself. You start your day at 6 am and end at 10.30 pm, and if you still can’t wear what you feel comfortable in, then it is a shame in this era,” Singh told Times of India.
She also said that she finds it strange when boys use the words ‘skimpily clad’. “If a girl feels comfortable in what she wears, what’s their objection?” she said.
“As far as drinking is concerned, all girls here are above 18, why should we even impose such a thought on them?” she said
Stating that the girls can move anywhere at any time, she added, “I would be introducing a range of stringent measures to keep issues of eve-teasing, rowdyism or display of ostentatious wealth at BHU under check.”
Meanwhile, BHU vice-chancellor Tripathi has visited the hostel and held talks with students.
The VC has also accepted various demands of the students over their security concerns such as round-the-clock security, CCTV network, proper checking at the gates, recruitment of women security guards among other issues, according to students.
An internal four-page report by the former chief proctor and the university vice-chancellor had called the alleged act of molestation an incident of ‘eve-teasing’.
Girl students at BHU have been protesting alleging gender bias in norms, and demanding round-the-clock security, making security personnel accountable for untoward incidents targeting girls, CCTV network, proper checking at the gates, recruitment of women security guards and setting up of a gender sensitisation panel.