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When Schools Are Unsafe Places for Girls, Can We Talk Education?

October 8, 2014

Prime Minister Modi recently told a nationwide gathering of students, that he intends to make the education of girls a priority for India.  He said his government has put into place many measures to ensure education for all girls, such as building toilets for girls. There are states in India where half the schools don’t have toilets, and this issue certainly needs attention.

RIGHT TO EDUCATIONHowever, The 50 Million Missing Campaign believes that one of the most critical issues that needs to be urgently addressed, is the escalation of incidents of rape and violence on girls while they are in school or while they are on their way to or going home from school.

Schools are now increasingly seen as unsafe places for girls in India.  This is one of the major reasons many families in rural and slum areas are unwilling to send their girls to school, and often marry them off early.  In fact  reports of sexual assault on girls are also becoming increasingly prevalent in private schools in towns and cities, where parents spend a lot of money sending their children to school.  Astonishingly even these private schools protect the criminals and also refuse to take responsibility for the safety of their students.  Recently parents in the city of Bangalore went on a rampage because private schools there, taking advantage of the shortage of schools, tried to force parents to sign a release form saying they would not hold the schools responsible for sexual assault on their children while they were in school!

THEREFORE WE CANNOT BE TALKING ABOUT EDUCATING GIRLS IN INDIA, WITHOUT FIRST ENSURING THEIR SAFETY IN SCHOOLS. THE QUESTION IS: WILL THE PRIME MINISTER AND THE GOVERNMENT TAKE CONCRETE ADMINISTRATIVE AND LEGAL MEASURES TO GUARANTEE THE SAFETY OF SCHOOL GOING GIRLS?

CLICK HERE to read about the Suryanelli case, one of the most high profile and brutal gang rape cases in India, where a school girl was kidnapped and pimped by her school bus driver, and then held hostage and gangraped by 42 men in 40 days. Recently in the city of Kolkata, when students gathered to protest the University’s lack of action against a gang sexual assault on a female student on campus, the Vice-Chancellor called in the police who then physically and sexually assaulted 16 of the protesting female students. Click here. The Vice Chancellor then informed them, that that was the appropriate response to their “indiscipline.”

Below are only a few select news reports that came to our campaign’s notice over the last one year in India.

School Girl Kidnapped, Moved Place to Place and Gang Raped for 2 Days (Maharashtra) CLICK HERE School for Blind Tries to Hush Rape of Student by Staff by Paying off Parents (West Bengal) CLICK HERE Teacher Gang Raped in Classroom (Rajasthan) CLICK HERE School Bus driver and attendant rape 11-year-old (Maharashtra) CLICK HERE 11 year old school girl raped and killed (Maharashtra) CLICK HERE 14-yr-old Abducted and Gang Raped on Her Way to School (Agra) CLICK HERE 17-yr-old school girl gunned down by man who had been stalking her for months (West Bengal) CLICK HERE School bus driver and attendant gang rape a 4-year-old student inside the bus (Maharashtra) CLICK HERE 21-yr-old college student raped and set on fire by her boyfriend (U.P.) CLICK HERE 6-Year-Old Gang Raped by Teaching Staff in a private school; School Refuses to Take Responsibility (Karnataka) CLICK HERE A 9 year old school girl was kidnapped and raped by an auto-rickshaw driver (Delhi): click here A 3-year-old Kindergarten Girl Sexually Assaulted in School (West Bengal) CLICK HERE A nursery student is raped on the premises of an exclusive, private school after being lured with candies by a female staffer (Lucknow) click here CLICK HERE A School Teacher and Law Graduate Murders For Dowry (New Delhi) CLICK HERE Attempted Rape and Murder of Medical Intern while on Duty in Hospital  (Assam) CLICK HERE Class 6 student gang-raped and set on fire by rapists, identifies her rapists before her death (West Bengal) CLICK HERE College student is gang raped by two of her classmates (Lucknow) CLICK HERE Girls abducted from school hostel by armed men and gang raped (Jharkhand) CLICK HERE Pharmacy Student Gang Raped by her classmates and Burnt to Death (Madhya Pradesh) CLICK HERE School Girl Gang Raped by her Boyfriend and his Friends (Bihar) CLICK HERE School Headmaster in Tamil Nadu Set His Wife on Fire for Dowry (Tamil Nadu) CLICK HERE Teenage Rape Victim Attempst Suicide After her Rapist School Teacher gets Bail! (Goa) CLICK HERE Tribal School Girl Raped By The Headmaster (Orissa) CLICK HERE

India Gang Rape_Kand cro_0

10 Comments leave one →
  1. October 9, 2014 12:52 pm

    Reblogged this on REVOLUTIONS IN MY SPACE: A BLOG BY RITA BANERJI and commented:

    ‘Educate them’ has become the automated, unthinking response to increased violence, indeed sexual violence on girls in India. It is almost a refusal to look at the reality of the SYSTEM and its participation in this systemic violence, because even as we say ‘educate them’ we fail to acknowledge that schools themselves, teachers, administrators, school bus drivers, are a part of the predatory network.

    Where is a girl safe in India today? Not in her home, not on the streets, and not in the schools. For those who say, that this won’t change overnight, I say it’s the luxury that only the ‘unaffected’ can afford, and therefore it is unconscionable! If your daughter was gang raped in school or on the school bus or walking to school, and the administration and police looked away, would you sit back and say “It won’t change overnight. We have to educate society and change its mindset?” No you would not! You will demand immediate safety and justice for your child! So why do we get so tolerant and accommodating in our attitude to the safety of girls when it is not one of our own children who is victimized? Why aren’t girl child organizations campaigns and NGOs, — speaking for the victims and their families instead of mindlessly preaching ‘educate them?’

    What will stop the rapes and violence on girls in India? Ask those who have been DIRECTLY IMPACTED. And then become THEIR VOICE FOR CHANGE!

  2. October 14, 2014 5:43 am

    Reblogged this on Swati Nitin Gupta and commented:
    Till the time we make this world a safe place for women we can’t stress on educating girls.

  3. October 14, 2014 5:44 am

    Which place is safe for women these days? Even homes are not safe anymore!

    • Sara permalink
      October 17, 2014 1:00 pm

      Swati,
      Homes were not necessarily safe at any point of time in history, not just “anymore”.
      We get to know about child abuse by relatives only these days because the victims these days have more support to speak up, and therapists/counselors to confidentially talk to. Just my thoughts:)

    • October 19, 2014 5:06 am

      Yes Sara you are right for girls there is no place she can say is safe for her. I appreciate your thoughts and do visit my blogs as well! thanks

  4. Parna Ghosh permalink
    October 21, 2014 1:43 am

    There is no use begging for justice for rape against young girls and women in India. Its a country of misogynist men who are also head of judiciary and government. Obviously they wont do anything to protect or give justice to women and girls. Only option is to take the law into your own hands and punish the rapist. Relatives and friends of victims should get hold of the rapists somehow and beat him/ them to death like they did in a West Bengal village in one recent case. Perhaps women themselves can form a vigilante group and buy guns to kill the perpetrators. Every young woman should carry some sort of weapon. This sounds far-fetched and extreme but I see no other way to get justice!

  5. emery permalink
    March 28, 2015 5:56 am

    Parna Ghosh i couldn’t agree more I’ve been saying this since 2012. after all the police, the courts, the mayors, and even the parliament are all corrupt. therfore there will someday be be a free Indian women’s army.

  6. November 12, 2015 8:03 am

    Having toilet is not a big deal. The important thing is, the toilets should be clean and maintained on daily basis. Now that should be called “SWACHH BHARAT”.

    Ministers visiting slum area and having phootshoot done, when they sweep is not a big deal. Keeping the country clean is our countries basic duty. And every related authority should take strict action to maintain it and impose heavy fines on those who dont follow.
    I remember when I was in Singapore, I saw board “Overall crime rate” and the count was around 34. I asked a local resident so you too have crime in your country. The resident said all those crimes are very minor like, kid eating chocolate and not informing the parents, etc. Isn’t it amazing? When am I going to see my country like that.

    Only way we can develop our country is first educate our politicians, and then impose strict rules which helps the authorities to take care of the country. Why cant we do it, yes we can. When first Delhi imposed helmet as compulsory for both rider and pillion passenger, first it was not followed. Then when it was made mandatory, people started hanging two helmets on their scooters. I remember those days. Wake up country, Wake up politicians, it is known that you do corruption, but I would request, you also help the country grow. Because at the end you too are going to live this country. Wont you like this country to be clean?

    It is nations primary duty to facilitate its country people with basic needs.
    When a small country like Singapore can change to Developed country, why is India still below developing line?

Trackbacks

  1. When Schools Are Unsafe Places for Girls, Can W...
  2. Teacher rapes girl, 4, in Bangalore school – The Times of India « Dr Alf's Blog

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