Monday, June 30, 2008
Well, after staying in hostel for 5years this is 1 question that has always been in my mind. The situation that I’m going to say is just an example and happens just not in my hostel but in many other women’s hostel(be it a college campus hostel or other women’s working hostel).
One of the rules of my hostel is that all 5 hostel blocks gates should be locked from inside at sharp 10 p.m.
1st year in hostel – A guy was found roaming around the campus at night after 10. During those times the lightings at night around the campus were not good so all that the girls could see was a figure going around the campus. When security was alerted, they couldn’t catch the guy. He just escaped.
2nd year in hostel – A guy was found peeping into girl’s rooms in ground floor of one of the blocks. It happened in two successive weekends. Again the security was not doing anything & in the end all the windows(they were of old made wood where rods in-between can be tilted)of all ground floor rooms were totally jarred.
3rd year in hostel – One of the girls, who lived in 2nd floor of a block), heard a noise in backside of the hostel and when she peeped through her window, saw a guy trying to break (don’t know exactly what he was trying to do) a jarred ventilator of bathroom from outside. She along with another student councilor opened the gate of the block and quietly went to alert the security so that that guy can be caught red-handed, but the wonderful security guard started blowing his whistle while going to the place where that guy was supposed to be. And that guy ran off.
4th year in hostel - One of the rooms in a block has a balcony. The way to balcony from room has 2 doors, one wooden and one netted door. Well the balcony is covered from other three sides by wooden planks. On one end of that balcony, that wooden plank was slightly broken. Normally no one uses that balcony as there is no light at night. Only the netted door is kept closed. Well, one night a guy came into that balcony by breaking that wooden plank, but couldn’t get through the netted door. The lights were off in the room so the guy couldn’t see inside. One girl was just lying awake and just could make out that some one was there. When she made a noise that person ran off. Initially this incident wasn’t taken seriously as no one saw that guy. Management just told that the girl must have imagined things. But her room mates were very scared. After one week this thing again repeated and this time all the girls in that room were sure some guy was out there. When the girls started shouting that guy ran off. Then a plan was made to catch that guy. Next time the guy appears, instead of making some noise, it was decided to catch him while he tried escaping from balcony as that was the only way he could come and go. So when the next time he came, the girls quietly told warden and warden along with a few girls went and stood outside the balcony with net poles and sticks to beat him. A few other girls went to call security so that they’ll handle him later. But when they went to call security, a shock awaited them. All the security guys had been drinking and all were drowsy. Taking advantage of the situation, that guy escaped.
5th year in hostel – This year I was personally involved. Our block is at corner most in the campus. In one of my friend’s room, one wooden plank of the window is not there, so they had covered that portion with news paper. One evening she was alone at her room and felt like she saw a finger through the window. She came out of the room scared. I was sitting outside and when she saw me, she told me about it. Four of my friends also came and we went and sat in her room for sometime and we didn’t see anything. Initially we just thought she was imagining as she had been reading one of the crime novels and tried to pacify her. But she was still scared. We couldn’t find any security guard nearby. We were confident there would be no one behind our block. Just to prove to my friend, four of us decided to go and check behind the block. We went with net poles (as precautionary measure) and suddenly a guy turned up from his hiding place. Well we got shocked as we didn’t expect to see him. We started shouting so that security guys could come but before that the guy escaped from other side. At the same time another hostel girl heard running from the other end of that block. Well though that guy escaped, we decided to do some detective work ourselves to find how that guy could have come inside the campus and whether he could enter our block in any ways. We found that there had been two guys for sure and that they had knives with them (which make us fortunate, because what if they had tried to use the knife on us).
Well each year one such incident has happened in our hostel which makes me wonder on what could be done about security. After the last incident, when I and my friend went personally to ask warden ma’am, she told us a thing which is a fact and a thing to ponder over. She said that if we are going to complain about security guards not being proper then whom can we recruit? We can’t recruit young guys for obvious reasons. By recruiting old-age guards also it’s easy for any person to come inside and over power them (one or two old people were taken but we saw them and they just can’t do anything). By recruiting middle-age guards, well that’s what has happened till now, and we’ve seen there efficiency. We strongly feel in all these incidents, securities have been along with the intruder. And to find really efficient guards is tough because those whom you can really trust and believe won’t come as guard’s to a women’s hostel, they’ll get better paid jobs else where. So finding security has been a huge challenge to our management. These past five years I’ve seen the security being changed each year after such an incident and I believe this has been the case even before I joined that hostel.
Once when I was telling one of this incident to some acquaintances, they recounted similar incidents that has happened in some hostel’s in Bangalore, kerala etc.
So how to improve security’s in such places and to ensure that such incidents don’t happen. Though till now no causalities as such have happened, but if this continues then anything can happen. Our parents send us to hostel with belief that it’ll be secured place for us. These hostels’s have so much rules for girls saying it’s for the security of girls but then if such incidents are happening then there is in fact no security as they claim to be and these rules are unnecessary. How can this problem be solved?