Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 18:
Students of Air Hostess and Hospitality Academy (AHHA) near Ram Mandir square of Odisha capital today went on a rampage in the institute alleging that the institute is not providing jobs as committed, withholding their certificates and girl students are being sexually harassed.
Led by mostly girls, about a dozen students heckled the director of the institute and other staff members including the female staff. Such was the fury of the students that they broke the door and dragged out a female staff who had locked herself inside a washroom. Besides, damage to the furniture and educational infrastructure was extensive.
“I had been given a job at a Hyderabad based hotel where my bosses used to call me at night to go out with them. Besides, I was expected to consume alcohol and be physical with them which I was not comfortable of. Every time I took up the issue with AHHA, they would either disconnect the phone or advise me to compromise. Now, what does this compromise mean! Do I have to sleep around with people to secure me job? This is not why I paid for my education. I resigned and came back here. Now for some reason the institute authorities are not issuing me my certificate,” complained a student speaking to us.
The complaint was more or less the same for all agitating girl students. A couple of boys complained that they were lured away from their other career path by the institute but dumped after the course was over. No placement assistance of promised sort was extended to them.
The institute authorities, however, dismissed both the placement and sexual harassment allegations.
“About 1000 students have graduated from this institute. Hundreds of them are successfully employed at various places. Only 10-11 students created a ruckus today. These students have already been offered jobs up to 5-6 times, but they quit them alleging monotony, sexual harassment etc. The allegations of campus placement are also false. We provide training and facilitate campus placement. We neither offer jobs nor do we conduct interviews by ourselves. It is up to the employer to select the deserving candidate,” said Director of AHHA Dillip Routray.
Notably, both sides lodged FIRs against each other in Kharavela Nagar police station following the incident this evening. While the students have alleged fraud and sexual harassment in their complaint, the institute authorities have cited the violence, damage to property and conspiracy to damage the reputation of the institute in theirs.
“We have received complaints from both sides and are studying them. Earlier, the students had approached the police and alleged that there certificates are not being issued. This time, they are talking about sexual harassment too. This is a grave issue. We are investigating it and action will be taken based on the findings. The situation is under control now,” said Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrata Bhoi.