State to sensitise students about sexual harassment

The death of the Delhi gangrape victim has spurred the state government into action. It has introduced a slew of measures to tackle sexual harassment in Maharashtra. As part of this endeavour, the state is now planning to hold day-long symposia in colleges, in which students will be sensitised about sexual harassment and told about pertinent laws.

"We have decided to hold day-long symposia in all colleges at the district and taluka levels. Our endeavour is to create a movement against sexual harassment and rape," a senior state official from the department of women and child welfare said.

The department has issued a directive that such programmes will be held across the state on January 4. "We will be calling either a judge, representative of an NGO, lawyers or senior police officials to sensitise students and make them aware of the laws that are there to tackle such crimes," the official added.

The state government, sensing the growing anger over the rape of the girl in Delhi, went into overdrive last week. It held meetings to tackle growing incidents of sexual harassment.

On December 24, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan called a meeting with Home Minister R R Patil and senior police as well as home department officials to take remedial measures in tackling the growing violence against women in the state.

After the meeting, a spate of decisions were taken, including setting up of 25 fast-track courts specially designated for cases pertaining to violence against women. The CM said he would request the Bombay High Court to allow the setting up of these courts.

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