Bhubaneswar, Dec 23 :
Worried over the delay in implementing government’s decision to provide proper security to girl students in the residential sevashram schools in the interior and sensitive areas in the state, the ST & SC Development department has asked the concerned collectors to identify the sevashram schools that need protection in their respective districts and send the list to the department as soon as possible.
The collectors have been told that they along with SPs of the districts would be held responsible if any untoward incident is reported from any of the sevashram schools under their jurisdiction.
It is to be noted here that there have several allegations of sexual exploitation and other forms of harassment of girl students in the residential sevashram schools. Recently all 150 inmates of a girls’ hostel in Kolnara in Rayagada district had quit en masse, to protest the unbridled entry of outsiders into their campus and harassment by them.
In view of this, the state government had decided to post a lady constable and a home guard temporarily in the sevashram schools where complaints of harassment- sexual or otherwise- of the girl students have been received in the recent past. In fact the chief minister had referred to this decision in the House in the last winter session of the Assembly. The Home department had also asked the RDCs to co-ordinate with the concerned collectors in remote and sensitive districts.
However, this has not been taken forward so far and that is why the ST-SC department has stepped up efforts to get the provision implemented as soon as possible, departmental sources said.