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