By Ramaninder K Bhatia, The Times of India, 1 January 2013
VADODARA: Vadodara police’s order of banning tuition classes before 7am and after 9pm in the city after the New Delhi gang rape, has evoked harsh criticism from women across the city. They want the rule to be revoked.
Police commissioner, IG Satish Sharma, said the notification to ban tuition classes early in the morning and late in the evening applied to both girls and boys. “We took this step after the Delhi rape to ensure that youngsters are not compelled to venture out at these hours to attend tuition classes. This is not meant to restrict any movement of girls in the city. The force is fully capable of ensuring the security and safety of women on the streets.”
However, not many interpret this notification as a women-friendly move. MSU has reportedly advanced the closing time for women hostels to 8.30 pm from the earlier deadline of 10 pm.
“It’s highly unfair. There is no such condition for the boys’ hostels. The male students are free to roam off campus 24 hours of the day while we have to get locked in our hostels by 8.30 pm. The police could have said that they would increase patrolling on roads instead of asking us to stay locked up inside,” DeepikaThakkar, a hosteller said.
“It’s like an admission on the part of the state that it can’t take the responsibility of keeping women safe on city roads after 9 pm. Instead of instilling confidence among women about their safety, they are made to feel vulnerable,” said Trupti Shah, member of Sahiyar, a women’s NGO, who was part of the group which met the district authorities to discuss the controversial order.
Prof Amita Verma, founder director of Women Studies Research Centre, MSU, said, “Women have to be safe in the society and it cannot be done by asking them to stay at home and hide. It is for the state to ensure that they stay safe even when they step out of their homes. This order does not make any sense.”
Deeptha Achar, a MSU professor, said, “By telling women to stay at home does not mean that the roads would become safe for them. This reflects inequality.”
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