Press Trust of India|Dec 1, 2023
DUSU polls: Women voters seek increased security during college fests, menstrual leaves
DUSU Elections 2023: The RSS-affiliated ABVP and the Congress NSUI released separate manifestos for women voters in the run-up to the polls.
NEW DELHI: Enhanced security during college fests, menstrual leaves and the presence of women cops outside campuses were the core issues for female students as they cast their votes in the Delhi University Students' Union elections on Friday. The Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) polls were last held in 2019.
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The election could not be held in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 while possible disruptions to the academic calendar prevented its conduct in 2022. Miranda House student Nikita highlighted the issue of security, especially during college fests. "On numerous occasions, some women have found themselves in unexpected and alarming situations during these festivities. Incidents like these dampen the students' mood and also raise concern about their safety," she said.
Last year, some men allegedly scaled the college walls during an open Diwali fest on the campus and indulged in "cat-calling and sexist sloganeering". Ritika, a second-year student of the college, urged the university administration to prioritise security during such events. Bhumi, another student of the college, emphasised the need for proactive measures outside the campus. She proposed the presence of both female and male police personnel in the vicinity of girls' colleges to ensure discipline and safety.
Nimisha, a final-year student, echoed her collegemates' sentiments and added that there should be menstrual leaves. The RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the Congress-backed National Students' Union of India (NSUI) released separate manifestos for women voters in the run-up to the polls. The NSUI, in its women's manifesto, has promised menstrual leaves, emergency response system for distress calls and increased police patrolling outside colleges.
The ABVP has promised to raise the issue of construction of women's hostels in every college, install pink booths near every hostel, full-time gynaecologist and psychologists in the WUS health centre of Delhi University. Nidhi, a student of Hindu College, said, "This is the time to take action for women's safety and their health issues. The campus environment should be friendlier and safer for women. Every student organisation has promised to take up women's issues and I hope they do." "The candidates are promising menstrual leaves in their manifestos. I am happy that they are thinking about this matter as no one likes to talk about women's health issues in our country. It is a good move and I welcome it. I hope they will stick to their promises after winning the elections," said Damini Singh, a student at Delhi University.
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