When Professors Turn Predators- Sexual Harassment On Campus

Students
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The recent case of a professor accused of seeking sexual favours from a student in exchange for passing her in an exam has not only left the students in shock, but has also raised serious concerns on the hitherto hallowed teacher- student relationship.

Pune365 spoke to academicians and students to take their views on these unfortunate incidents that question the very sanctity of a relationship built on faith and respect. 

“One cannot always blame the professors, some students are also ready to do anything in exchange for good grades,” says Vilas Dhamane, a professor from city college.

Recalling an incident he says. “She didn’t come on me directly, but approached me with all the feminine charm like someone, who was sure of what she wanted. She was an average student and had appeared for an entrance exam and wanted a distinction.”

She has made several attempts to meet me alone and each time I knew she was going to cross my path, I would stand or sit with other teachers and students. One fine day, she finally broke down and told me about her entrance exam and said ‘ I would do anything and everything for good grades sir.’

I knew it was coming and hence told the principal about this. The law has always been in  favour of women and it is difficult to prove otherwise, especially in a world where some professors bring shame to the pure relationship of a teacher and student, adds Vilas.

She was subsequently barred from attending my lectures.

Shashi Nair, student, “Nowadays we have very friendly relationships with our professors, due to which many professors think that we’re interested in them, or can do anything for good grades. Though, not every professor is asking for sexual favours and there are genuine professor in the industry.

Touchwood! our school and college are blessed with some of the good professors, who have always supported and given us that extra push when needed.

It is a matter of shame that certain professors who are like guru’s and should be imparting education, are indulging in such sexual harassment. Our parents are at peace, when we’re in college, but this disgraceful behaviour has left them worried too.

Colleges should have WDC (women development cells) units, which should take strict action if alarm is raised and penalise the concerned professor, Nair adds.

A Principal from a city college who wishes to stay anonymous says, “There are certain rules and regulations which need to be followed by the professor and students.

A student is entirely a college’s responsibility when they’re on the campus, and it is our duty to protect them.

Our college now has a Women’s Development Cell that takes speedy action against such incidents. These cells consist of women activists, senior lawyers and experienced people.

The authorities will only take notice when the student or the professor brings this forward and there are always two sides to the story.

Both sides should be heard properly before concluding anything. If the safety of women is compromised, strict and stern action will be taken

Pooja Mohite, a student says, “The city is considered to be an educational hub and also one of the safest cities in the country. Today, the safety of women is compromised what with so many cases of sexual harassment emerging in the city.”

The recent incident of a professor asking for sexual favours is not new but has certainly left the citizens of Maharashtra in shock.

Pune has almost 80% of its population dominated by students and often, girls in the city find it difficult to speak about this. Many professors also threaten to fail students in their subjects.

Pooja added that “I think the only solution to this problems, every college should have dedicated Women development cells that also have some students on the panel, as it becomes easier to communicate with a classmate, rather than a professor.

The cell should ensure the safety of women not only in the campus but also beyond that.”

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#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.

Ankita Malekar

Ankita Malekar

A talkative tiny speck in the world of Media, with an itch for travel and paws.
Ankita Malekar

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