Thiruvananthapuram: At times when the ruling CPM and the state is mooting for renaissance movements and women empowerment, the inmates of Ladies Hostel (LH) of College of Engineering Trivandrum (CET) were gearing up for a fight against the authorities to exercise their freedom and gender justice. Finally, they won when the government issued an order relaxing the time of entry to the hostel was extended to 9.30 pm from 6.30 pm.
The library and lab facilities of the college are open till 9 pm. In the order, principal secretary of higher education department, also pointed out that the entry time of men’s hostel is 9.30 pm.
The students of CET had formed a movement called Azadi to fight gender equality issues like curfew for girl students.
The whole movement intensified on Tuesday when around ten girl students, part of Azadi movement, were denied entry to the hostel after 6.30 pm if they were not to provide satisfactory explanation.
“The PTA vice president even called up our houses to inform about our ‘misconduct’. One of the parent had to be hospitalized after getting the call in the middle of the night complaining about his daughter,” said Anjuradh, a member of Azadi movement.
The next day more than 100 students agitated against the authority and stood back in campus after 6.30 pm. They were denied entry. Even the principal of the college said that they can’t be given entry without explanation.
“On Wednesday soon after this news were spread in LH, more and more students joined us. As adults, this curfew is like a violation of our privacy. By 11 pm, more than 500 of us were at the college lobby and staged a sit-in. Students at men’s hostel also joined us. But the irony is that no authority including Principal or the PTA president called or visited us even when girls en masse were staying out of their shelter,” Anjuradh added.
The matter took a favorable route when TK Anandhi, gender advisor to chief minister, intervened in the matter.
The agitation was withdrawn after Principal secretary Usha Titus held a discussion with principal Dr Jiji CV and extended the time.
Even this relaxation is a curfew. We, through azadi movement, will continue our protests against gender inequality. This is only a small step. What we are aiming at is a liberation, further added Anjuradh.