Published: 05th July 2017
'Your SRFTI is a sexual harassment zoo': Chilling note from Kolkata Film Institute student before she attempted suicide
According to a note she wrote before attempting suicide, this is Kunjila's second attempt and she accuses the Institute of not taking action against her sexual harassers and hushing it up
Kunjila Mascillamani, a student of the government-run Satyajit Ray Film Institute in Kolkata reportedly attempted suicide after putting up with years of sexual harassment at the hands of professors and authorities at the institute. Her friends on Facebook have shared a message from her stating that she has survived the attempt but she is scared that the authorities at the institute are spreading lies about her.
In a chilling note written before she attempted to kill herself on Tuesday, Kunjila says, "Don't tell me I didn't fight. Don't tell em I didn't try. I am ending my life after trying everything." Facebook posts reveal she has been writing and speaking about the institute's alleged sexual harassment for while now and even spoke at the Women Against Sexual Harassment meet yesterday, a group she set up as a result of the sexual harassment.
She had led a protest against JU and SRFTI on Tuesday and had spoken against the attitude of the faculty rather strongly.
WATCH: Kunjila speaking about sexual abuse and SRFTI
Kunjila Mascillamani, a student of the Satyajit Ray Film Institute in Kolkata reportedly attempted suicide after putting up with years of sexual harassment at the hands of professors and authorities at the institute.
In the video, Kunjila said that she had been extremely disappointed with the way that her complaint was handled by the Institute and also claimed that there were many other women students at the institute who were also silenced the same way, "The report that was issued regarding the complaint stated that there were no eye witnesses int he case. Tell me, when a man decided to sexually harass a woman, does he call ten other people to watch? Do they not realise how ridiculous it is to demand witnesses in cases of sexual assault. Everyone keeps saying I should go to the police. What if I don't want to go? We have a sexual harassment law in workplaces, so we are demanding justice within the Institue, why is that not possible? Kunjila questioned in her speech yesterday.
Lasting fight: Kunjila's suicide note reveals the shocking incidents at the film school
She also alleged that other women were scared about coming out about the harassment because they had films to screen and projects to submit and were scared about the impact on their academics.
In her suicide note, she also says, " If you are a student of SRFTI and you are a sexually harassed, raped then there is no way you can live.......I tried to live with all my might, I have been trying since December 2015 but there is only so much a woman can do to cling to her life."
If you are a student of SRFTI and you are a sexually harassed, raped then there is no way you can live... I tried to live with all my might, I have been trying since December 2015 but there is only so much a woman can do to cling to her life
Kunjila Mascillamani, SRFTI Student
She ends the note by saying that she thinks about the lives that could have been saved had SRFTI had saved had they listened, had they cared. "Your film school is a sexual harassment zoo and I'm your first carcass. Eat me now to your heart's content."
On a comment thread under one of the posts, a friend says that Kunjila visited the Institute to collect her belongings from the hostel, as she had finished her course but was asked by the director of the Institute to get out. Her mother has also written about Kunjila's sexual harassment, begging people to help her, "She was asked to get out of the Institute and she cried on the phone with me, she was very upset. This SRFTI director is not letting us live in peace. Please help us."