Girls Shall Not Walk!
Anonymous | Nov 09, 2015
I’ve always personally believed that this Institute has certain sexist strains, which have constantly been reinstated by the disparity in entry timings and the lack of it. However, I’ve learned to live with it owing to the security concerns that arise simply because I happen to have a uterus! Before I start off, I would like to add a disclaimer that all those in the students’ fraternity, especially those belonging to the opposite sex have always been the most ardent supporters of this stance; and this is in no way directed towards them. My grievances are addressed to those who are in positions of power, to those who are responsible for protecting us – but also those who believe that they are allowed to do so, by infringing into our basic rights.
You cannot walk.
I’ve heard this statement repeatedly for the past two months on several occasions, from several parties, tried to argue but never to much avail. The portion of the Scholar’s Avenue, that stretches from Hex towards the boys’ hostels and finally to back-post is apparently “restricted” for girls; while on certain auspicious instances the guards let us walk till the cross-road between DBA Hall of Residence and GDB Hall of Residence – in most cases, they restrict us in front of the turning to Jo’z. During a conversation with one of the guards, and consequently his superiors I tried my best to explain that I wanted to go into that road at 3pm in afternoon, in spite of the blazing heat to meet the Chief Warden and he argued with me on the grounds that I would slip into one of the boys’ hostels or sneak into back-post. No amount of logic or reason would allow him to let me walk beyond that point!
While men might have adequate fantasies about sneaking into a girls’ hostel, I assure the authorities that most girls don’t have the slightest interest in trespassing into their male counterparts’ abode, for fear of the sights, sounds and smells that we might encounter. As far as going to back-post is concerned, we respect the restrictions, believing they’re solely on the grounds of security issues. However, the road, the road that is a public facility, whose maintenance I pay for with my semester fees should be open for me to walk on.
The other day a male friend and I were stopped by security guards from walking on the road that runs behind CVR Hall of Residence. There was no scope for any justification or clarifications, because the guard walked back to his position, without allowing us to even converse with him on the subject. However, the interesting fact is that if you happen to walk back from Jo’z by that same road, there are no consequences, since there are no guards posted on that side of the road. If the NITR traffic has become too much, and needs to be diverted into one-way avenues, prior intimation or circulars stating the same would definitely be helpful!
Moreover, the benches in the roads near CVR Hall of Residence which were so far meant for people to rest their posterior on, have also joined the list of “restricted areas”. When I tried to sit with a friend in the broad daylight on one of those benches, one of the security guards promptly informed us that we were not “supposed to”. When asked for a reason, he simply said that there were “higher orders”. Knowing how these conversations usually end up, we didn’t waste our time there.
I’ve seen guys walking wherever they want, sitting whenever they feel the need to and nobody ever tells them much. What I don’t understand is that if I pay for the roads and if the roads do not pose any eminent threat to my well-being why should I be stopped from using the same? If a bench exists for people to sit on, I don’t understand why people are stopped from doing the same? There is a dire need to explain to whoever sets out these rules, that ensuring safety doesn’t necessarily imply imposing ridiculous restrictions; and the guards exist because of the students, not the other way around – so a little less bossing around by them and their superiors and a little more consideration with students would be highly appreciated.
Also, yes, I’d love to be allowed to walk, again!