Reported by Simanchal Panda
Rayagada, Dec 12:
150 girl students, all inmates of the Sevashram hostel in Kolnara in Rayagada district quit their hostel en masse today in protest against harassment at the hands of outsiders who get free entry to the school campus.
They have locked their rooms and left with their baggages.
Sunita Mandangi , a high school student told OST that many grown-up girls who stay in the Sevashram hostel feel insecure and unsafe because they are regularly being subjected to eve-teasing and obscene comments by a group of outsiders who enter the hostel campus at will.
She also said no steps had been taken to prevent the outsiders’ entry into the school.
However, there is still no clarity on who the ‘outsiders’ are and whether they have anything to do with the day to day running of the school and the hostel.
The local ITDA Project Administrator Goarachand Gomango said efforts are on to persuade the girls to return . He said he would see to it that their problems are solved at the earliest.
“ We will collect information from the girl students about the people who are entering the campus and harassing them. We will then file an FIR with the local police and book them” Gomango told OST.
Bharati Saraka, another student said the living conditions in the hostel are very poor and the toilets are in a terrible shape. Other students said one of their favourite teachers had been transferred without any rhyme or reason.
All efforts and persuasions by the school authorities to hold them back had little effect on the students who said they will return only after their basic grievances are addressed to their satisfaction.
The headmistress of the Sevashram school Jiban Kumari Devi told OST that she was feeling helpless because the students are hellbent on leaving the hostel en masse and would not listen to her pleas to stay back.
The girl students were camping in a nearby town Mukundpur till last reports came in.