Published: 28th August 2020
IIT Kharagpur’s LGBTQ+ Resource Group organises workshop to fight sexual harassment in college campus
Ambar, a Gender and Sexual Diversity support group for the LGBTQ+ community of IIT Kharagpur organised the workshop with Jhatkaa.org
To make aware students of their legal rights and university’s obligations regarding sexual harassment in the college campus, Ambar-IIT Kharagpur organised the Campus Safety 101 workshop under the Campus Safety 101 initiative of Bangalore-based campaigning organisation Jhatkaa.org.
The workshop was attended by many students of the institution. “It was not just informative but empowering to learn so much and to know of our rights and power as a student in the campus”, said one of the members of Ambar - IIT Kharagpur.
Speaking about the need of organising the workshop, Shivam Kumar Jha, a 7th semester student of IIT Kharagpur said, “The workshop is needed just like other important personal life skills we aren't taught in academics - it is important to know what constitutes harassment and is not okay. The knowledge of legal rights associated taught in the workshop will be very beneficial, especially when tomorrow we go out in workplaces, meet many new individuals, and become parents someday down the road.”
The workshop covered essential points relating to the procedure to file a complaint with the institution’s Internal Committee. It also talked about virtual sexual harassment and how online classes during COVID-19 can also be a space for where students are vulnerable to many forms of sexual harassment.
The Campus Safety 101 initiative by the Jhatkaa.org aims at organising online workshops with colleges and universities across the country. The organisation has also launched a free to access toolkit which entails all the information one may need to fight sexual harassment in college campuses.
“In 2018, we reached out to 2 students facing the very same harassment and discrimination for reporting a professor of sexual harassment and it took 1 year of campaigning from our side to get them justice. With this toolkit, we’re hoping that getting justice for sexual harassment survivors on college campuses won’t take that long in the future”, says Suman Saurav, the gender and sexuality campaigns manager with Jhatkaa.org.