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My College Punished Me For Daring To Ask Why Women Shouldn’t Have Equal Rights! Here’s My Story

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Impact: Spandana’s story, after being published on Youth Ki Awaaz spread all over social media. In a matter of days, it was picked up by many other news and media organizations and pressure started building up on VIT University. The university called Spandana back on campus and tried to initiate projects to make the campus gender neutral.

By Spandana Cheruvu:

So I asked one VIT University administrator, “Sir, I want complete gender equality. I want the In-time for both boys and girls to be same so that we have equal opportunities”. His response: “Go to IIT Bombay. There boys and girls are allowed to go into each other’s rooms.” Why, when I ask for equal rights as men, is my character called into question and interpreted as me wanting to spend time with boys for all the wrong reasons?

VIT

I am a fourth year B.Tech student at VIT University in Tamil Nadu. About a month ago, I spoke out against certain VIT rules that I feel are discriminatory against female VIT students, putting us at an unfair disadvantage. One such rule is that girls are allowed out only on either Saturdays or Sundays for just a few hours with prior permission from the warden, which is granted based on her whims. Being a volunteer of the Make A Difference organization, I teach school kids every Saturday. I could never go out on Sundays to have fun with friends or buy components for projects or do any other work outside campus. It curbed my activities a lot.

Recently, a few students along with a professor came together to start a non-profit organization called Education for Development (E4D). As I was a founding member, I had a lot of work to do, starting from buying second-hand furniture, computers to getting a broadband connection, etc., as the facility is situated off campus. I was happy to dedicate a lot of extra time after my classes to set it up. However, I observed that the male students had a lot more time to spend at the centre during weekdays and especially during weekends, whereas the work was divided amongst all of us irrespective of gender.

VIT student council members suggested to go for a survey of female VIT students, to give a clear indication of their opinions. Then the data could be presented to the management to request for appropriate changes and also include suggestions to ensure safety. Hence I, along with another female student (who wishes to remain anonymous), drafted a survey and posted it to the E4D website on 29th September.

VIT

On 1st October, the administration called us to put pressure to take down the survey, which the other girl did. However, the survey was quickly reactivated by the director of E4D, Prof. Ted Moallem, who took full control of the website from then on. Prof. Ted believed the students’ opinions should be heard and that a university should not prevent peaceful expression. He refused the VIT administration’s demands to remove the survey, and he also posted the results which now include responses from about 400 female VIT students (http://home.e4d.in/vit-female-student-survey-results).

The administration repeatedly threatened us, me and the other girl, to choose between the survey and our B.Tech degree. I showed resistance, leaving up some of the related posts I had made. Both of our parents were summoned immediately to come and take us away and we were blamed of starting a war against the university, while all we did was make a survey and proposal to address gender discrimination and campus safety.

My parents reached Vellore on 2nd October. They were told by the administration to take me back home along with them and on no terms I will be allowed to stay on campus. There was no official notice for leave. The other girls’ parents could not come for her, and so she was escorted all the way back to Delhi with a warden. The official statement given by the university is that the parents of both the girls took them back, which is completely opposite to the reality. It’s a shame that something like this happened on Gandhi Jayanthi, the day celebrating the birth of a man who fought for freedom of the country. ‘The Hindu’ newspaper wrote about what happened to us on 11th October, read here. You can also read people’s open letters to the VIT administrators on the E4D blog.

VIT1

The Problem, As I See It

From everything that has happened, I have been most affected by the lack of support from my peers. They reacted with silence and fear. The incident couldn’t even stir my good friends to action. Most were too afraid to even talk about this openly (after all, look what happened to me), and many stopped communicating with me entirely. They could not even go to the administrators in a group. Their hesitation to act “against the grain” was too deep-rooted. Although most of the students say they agree with the idea of gender equality, I found that they had two basic reasons for not standing by me.

The first reason is the common attitude that the effort is futile and hopeless. They said that speaking won’t do any good and this is how things are in India, that I should not have tried going against people with such power. The second reason is the enormous sense of fear. They believe that there has to be a change, but they are not able to say anything now as their degrees would be at stake. The future of this country should not be driven by hopelessness and fear.

Indian students are brought up since childhood in a way so as to curb their inquisitiveness. Logical questions are answered as “Because they say so” or “It’s in our culture”. The result is a “herd mentality” which is not at all a sign of progressive society. What most of us care about is if the majority is following the same path or not. Hardly anyone would halt for a second and think about what they are doing, why they are doing it and whether it makes any sense. Most importantly, are they being deprived of any of the fundamental rights, and if so, shouldn’t they be voicing against it?

College is the phase of life where you are technically considered adults and learn how to brave the world before getting completely exposed to it. Universities play an important role in shaping the students’ mindset and the way they lead their lives in future. At such a stage, if fear is instilled, questioning is discouraged, and things like gender discrimination are encouraged in the name of safety, the students end up being ill-confident social cripples. All innovative, creative and independent thinking dies.

It must not be accepted by anyone of either gender that women are inferior in any way and deserve less opportunities. If they are physically less strong then they must receive self defence training and efforts must be put into making the surroundings safer, rather than jailing the girls. Otherwise, these ill values of submission and acceptance to fate without dissent are learnt subconsciously, and they are going to resonate through the generations to come, passing on from parents to children, hindering the progress of the society.

Private universities are businesses, and parents are their customers as they pay the tuition fees. Hence, rules are made to satisfy the parents, while the students are actually facing the situations. Of course, the parents want their kids to be safe. But at what point will the students also be considered major stakeholders in deciding the rules, and their opinions taken into consideration? Should financial dependence allow the parents to control the lives of their fully grown up children?

The private universities must have an open mindset and students must also be treated like stakeholders while making a draft of the rules. Since, this is a democracy, there is a chance of every rule being questioned some day. There must be a scope of open community discussion amongst students, staff and administrators, without leaving anyone vulnerable to being targeted. Also, change over a period of time is inevitable and hence, universities must be open to suggestions. Change should be preceded and succeeded by open discussions, which are very essential. Otherwise, it is autocracy with change depending on the whims of just the few decision makers. There must be a mechanism to openly conduct polls and surveys to get the input regarding the opinion of the masses of students. It will be in the university’s best interests to know the perspective of the majority.

Above all else, freedom of speech must not be curbed.

You must be to comment.
  1. Ghost Writer

    Can the names of University officials be disclosed? Students who took the first step ahead are not alone just because their classmates refused to stand up against injustice. There are a lot of people who agree that this is sheer foolishness and a typical authoritarian attitude. We all need to stand up and tell all those who try to oppress; peaceful and just voices can never be shut down.
    The real difference would come when all the petitions and calls, Yes, live calls made by people from different corners of the country would start pouring in to demand an answer from the University.

    1. Abhinav Dey

      Please mail us at contact@e4d.in or abhijit@e4d.in if you wanna get in touch.
      We sent Letters to the Officials yet, but not yet tried calling them.
      Well, I can’t get the contact nos. from our homepage: http://vit.ac.in/ .. 🙁

  2. The Superstitious Atheist

    Most of the DU colleges have this gender disparity and now I am learning that it is almost everywhere. I strongly support your decision to speak up.

    If the administration is so hell-bent on labelling you as troublemakers for asking for equality, why not ask for the timings of boys to be curbed? If the girl’s hostel shuts down at 7, so should the boys hostel. You see, if the boys aren’t out on the streets, there won’t be any mayhem. (sarcasm)

  3. D.R.K.

    Can a legal action be taken against the University on behalf of you and your friend? The VIT University administration needs to know that what they have done is illegal.

    1. Pranesh

      Ha ha, legal action against VIT? The administration will just buy the judge, the lawyer representing you, and the education minister of Tamil nadu before you finish uttering ‘legal action’.

  4. Gdk

    Sending home, does that mean you cannot complete your course at the institution?

  5. S.K.P

    This is ridiculous! I am a past VITian…This has always been the case…We tried but noone supported us..So many requests and so many letters…I was an International student there..To get permission to go visit my relatives, I had to get soo many signatures.. From the Proctor, to the IR counsellor , the programme manager…and all this on a mail that my parents send to the IR counsellor..it doesnt end there…Once they had this rule that if an International student has to step out, the parents have to come pick them up..Why arent we girls good enough to find our ways? This needs to stop..You girls need justice!

  6. Gaurav

    Its good to see people standing up for this injustice!

  7. Rajeev

    Please do not spoil the college environment. College are meant for studies. If you were not satisfied with university rules you could have choosen JNU where girls roam in universities at 12 o clock in night.

    Colleges where this type of liberty is given is not successful in producing more no of good students. They might produce 1-2% of very high quality students but rest of the students are unemployed.

    College authorities are not coming to our houses and restricting us. Student life is meant for studies.

    1. Greeshma

      So you mean boys can roam around till 12? If girls roam around, the results are going to be oh-so-bad but if boys roam around, the results are going to be oh-so-good? What logic is that? A sensible person wouldn’t think this way, let alone an educated person. Go back to 1850. Thats where you belong.

      P.S: I definitely think this person belongs to the VIT Admin/Management.

    2. Han Batliwala

      The top-most colleges in the world are MIT, Stanford, Havard (US) and Oxford and Cambridge (UK) where there is highest liberty. In India, the top-most colleges are the IITs, IIMs and IISc which also provide maximum liberty to students. Liberty is strongly correlated with intelligence and maturity of students produced.

      Other colleges in remote villages where Khap Panchayats don’t allow women to have mobile phones or eat chowmein produce unemployed people.

      The choice is yours, which category among these you prefer?

    3. Gaurav

      Sick mentality ….. Get a check up since You are a potential Rapist or eve teaser ..because as soon as you see a girl , your hormone level surges up and you think it is time to get spoilt and no wonder your lewd mentality is well represented in your comment.
      How many of the JNU people you know , who are unemployed? Where does does VIT stands in International ranking vis-a-vis JNU?

    4. Jason

      Sir,

      If you did read the article, you would quickly realize that the author had issues with juggling a noble act of teaching underprivileged children over the weekend and purchasing material required to support her coursework at the university – which has been curbed by the university and its rules. Colleges and universities are meant to impart knowledge in any shape, way or form. It is not an avenue to force education (or “studies” as you like to call it). Colleges are supposed to impart life lessons (of which a certain part involves coursework and culminates in a degree) that are not only restricted to learning V = I*R in a classroom. Moreover, the students who go to these universities are capable and deserve the best education. They are the reason that these universities have a name and some value. These unequal, archaic rules have nothing to do with it.

    5. Vatsa

      Rajeev : I would like you to read what you have written again.

      “Please do not spoil the college environment. College are meant for studies. If you were not satisfied with university rules you could have choosen JNU where girls roam in universities at 12 o clock in night” – What is your problem with girls roaming around at 12 o clock at night? It is a right of a person to move freely wherever they choose, whenever they choose to do so.

      “Colleges where this type of liberty is given is not successful in producing more no of good students. They might produce 1-2% of very high quality students but rest of the students are unemployed.” – Do not spurt out nonsense statistics without any proof or backing. I would like you to show me some research where this is proven. Also for the record, IIT provides liberty to students, are you telling me that they do not produce high quality students?

      “College authorities are not coming to our houses and restricting us. Student life is meant for studies.” – Being a student means equipping yourself for the rest of your lives. It doesn’t only include learning from books.

      I have just one question to ask you – How can you be so narrow minded?

    6. Spandana Cheruvu

      Rajeev, please pay attention to the article. “Roaming” is not the topic of the aforementioned article. “Freedom of speech” and “Gender equality” are being discussed here. Please feel free to express your genuine views on those issues.

    7. Donotwanttodisclose

      I have gone through all comments. Please remember that JNU college students are doing good because extremely good students join there. if students are left free in normal college they donot do sudy. Most of the VIT students are doing something. Please remember that the ratio of students studying in JNU and VIT is totally different. If you do not like university environment. why you took admission over here?

      VIT people have not given application to you to join the college.

      @Greeshnma:- We do not join college to roam, We join there for studies and we should do that. Being modern is not spoiling the time and wasting the time.

      and donot thnk that every one in this world think in Same way. VIT is having the history of producing good students. you might not have done even a single good thing for society till now.

      @Han:- Donot mix IIt with VIT. Cream students join IIT’s and average students join VIT. Students of IIT if they donot study they get the job by brand name. If you will fill the application, your application will be rejected if you are not from good college. as a student of VIT or local college you will have to show additional certificate and good marks to join the same company.

      And as you said choice is your’s. Do not make all the college same. If you donot like VIT college environment 80-90% of college in india have the same environment like IIT and IIM. Join there. VIT people have not called you to join. Please leave at least 10% of the universities like that.

      @GAURAV:- This is what actually called/known as sick mentality. Now also south colleges/cities are 100% safer than north. Parents happily send their wards to VIT/loyla chenai/SRM/SIST and think 100 times if they send them to delhi.

      @Jason:- I respect your views. I know VIT from close, I have studied there and VIT environment is not so bad. You do get your time to go out etc. Thousands of people join from outside. Now also those who wants to live free live they join the college from outside. College facilities are excellent. You will get everything over there. If you are really a studious student you do not need anything from outside.

      @Vatsa:- Broad minded does not means spoiling the study time to roam outside college. They never stop students(Boys/girls) to roam in day time morning 6 Am to 7pm. You are not living in city where you do not have the time to do your personal working day time because you spend you time in office, So you need to do your work after office time. Yo need to join your office in night because of odd office timing. In college we get enough time in day. Now also thousand of parents prefer their children to these colleges. And please do not say that all parents are mad and you people will take care for their children. No one in this world can take care for children except parents. Now also do the survey and see parents do not want to see their children roaming here and there and not doing studies.

    8. madhatter13

      then please do tell why the difference in treating boys and girls separately…so does VIT promote the idea that boys are superior to girls?…if so then it is no use producing “good students” who have a narrow mind…

    9. vitalumnus

      I have passed out from VIT.
      I have an above average CGPA both in my btech and my MBA.
      I am a studious person who is now in an IIM.

      I have seen first hand the facilities which-are-oh-so-good-that-you-need-nothing-from-outside.

      And guess what? I needed stuff from outside. The thing is that the facilities are complete in form but hollow in content. And if you believe that in 2015, having an option of 1 or 2 is good enough as having an option of 500 that the rest of the outside world has, then please wake up.
      Yes the timings are allowed from 6AM to 7PM but NO, they were not enough if you claim that I would have had this kind of CGPA or an admission in an IIM.
      How did I get here? I left the hostel and became a day scholar, because I was sick of wasting my time and effort struggling against an uncooperative and sadistic administration, rigid pointless and self-justifying rules as well as a horde of scared students who would go to any lengths to conform just because there are a few who get bullied by the admission into slaving their way through 4 years. I limited my interaction with the administration to the point that for my final year, the only people I ever interacted with in my college were a few of my friends and any course related occasional query I might have for the professor.
      If your answer is simply “this is how it is, take it or leave it” then let me tell you that these rules are not made public knowledge until way past the point of no return in the admission process.
      Not long after you’re stuck in this mess, you realize you can’t back away and waste an year and money of your parents just because its tough. Shame, guilt and inertia become a defining factor of your life, and B. Tech becomes a life sentence that you settle down to bear.

      I am a VIT alumn.
      I would advise anyone I know not to go there.
      Its a golden apple with a rotted core, and if you believe you can spend four years nibbling at the crust and never have to deal with the ugly aspects of it, then you would need one hell of a good luck.

      PS: When being curtailed by myriad rules and unable to regularly attend coaching for IIM, I sought to leave the hostel. After submitting a written and signed permission letter from my gather and counter-signed by various poeple, the ProVC insisted on calling my father and warning him that students leaving the hostel get involved in drugs, violence and criminalistic activities. (seriously, no exaggeration)
      I don’t know how bad it is in other colleges, but from every interaction I’ve had with my peers, things are never this bad anywhere else.

      I am blessed to have parents who trusted me completely and who stood by me in this four year ordeal of my life called VIT. Had they even had a slight fear that I might get deviated from my studies (which I imagine many parents might have when sending their child so far away), I am sure the ProVC would have managed play on their fears and sway them.

      PPS: There is so much more that I could share but I’m still somewhat afraid they might revoke my degree if I’m identified.

    10. madhatter13

      u know u are a sadistic and narcissistic male chauvinist…many of the best colleges in the country do not have such stupid rules. Restrictions dont make anyone study more. It does not matter if people roam around till 12….may be your college is filled with dumb people who need to mug up everything so they need to study for 25 hours a day….and dude please wipe off your high jackass attitude.. all students should have equality… if there are restrictions for girls, the same should be for boys also…

    11. S.D.P

      Why are you getting crazy for this issue.

      Can anyone of you tell us what does she want to do after 8 pm. What wrong VIT is doing if they are informing parents if their wards are going out after 8pm.

      Donot be crazy boys. After 8PM even we do not send our girls outside. Vellore is not a Metrolpolitan city.

      Please donot stop this crazy talk. This is not something right you are talking about. This is something you guys are crazy to all wrong doing.

      Can anyone tell what is wrong?????

      Can anyone tell what is wrong?????

      Can anyone tell what is wrong?????

      Can anyone tell what is wrong?????

      Does she want to smoke,roam,drink,sleep with boys. What are so important work which cannot be done before 8pm. Anyone have seen that college. It is such a lonely place. if she is so desperate she can live outside and do what ever she wants.

      Crazy people…

    12. Spandana Cheruvu

      S.D.P., Do you really want to be taking that tone and calling my character into question? I do not discuss the trivial issues of just the intime rules. How dare you suggest that I want to sleep with boys? We cannot afford to have people like you in this society.

    13. subra

      It seems to me from the comments that some of the people / posts are planted by the college in question. To scuttle, provoke, spread misinformation…

    14. Abhijit sinha

      It is hard to believe people like you exist; nonetheless they do. The society is getting stale and it is bound to have worms, you are just one of many.

      By the way, the way you say “our girls” it looks like you own them. I hope you don’t really believe that. The other thing being, you got the rule wrong, it’s not that the parents are informed for going out after 8pm. Do some background research first. I shouldn’t be honoring you with a reply but since I am, understand this, people like you mean nothing to anyone.

      You ask of she wants to sleep with anyone, so that implies that every time you go out, you do have a nice time sleeping around. In any case, what she does outside isn’t your concern. Go read the damn law.

      Finally, only to promote free speech, none of the comments are being blocked. But personally seaming comments and bad language is intolerable.

      FYI: the person you are hurling abuse at has represented VIT nationally and internationally and has been recognized by MIT and Harvard professors, for her remarkable technical skills. She is working on projects that can help the underprivileged. Even Abdul Kalam has lauded her for her work. I don’t think she has the time to go around sleeping with any God’s creation every time she goes out.

    15. amy mody

      “Does she want to smoke,roam,drink,sleep with boys. What are so important work which cannot be done before 8pm. Anyone have seen that college. It is such a lonely place. if she is so desperate she can live outside and do what ever she wants.”

      S.D.P. Sar, can you tell us why you are thinking such dirty and perverted thoughts about a girl student? Why is this the first thought that comes to your mind when we are talking about having equal timings for all students male or female so that all have equal opportunities to further their studies by doing projects related to their career? Why is it that you don’t have similar dirty thoughts about boy students? There is something wrong with your mentality if the first thing that comes to your mind is something perverted like this.

    16. Ashutosh

      S.D.P…Clearly you are one of those extremely backward people, who clearly do not want to step out into the changing world.
      The topic was about “Gender Equality” and not about how girls utilize their free time, inside or outside the campus.
      Are you sure you know we live in the 21st century?
      I come from a university which provides us enough of freedom to do whatever we want, and HEY, you know what? We still excel in our studies and get amazing job offers at the end of the day.And just to be clear, I am NOT from any of the IITs.
      The point is, equal opportunity IS A MUST irrespective of gender, caste and race. After that, what the person does with it is his/her responsibility.So, GROW UP.

      PS. Spandana…keep up with the amazing work.People like you are the ones who will take this country forward!

    17. ItsJustMe

      Girls are not yours to send out. The parents deserve to know or not?? are you crazy these girls who are over 18 and are free to do what they want to do.

    18. Anonymous

      Go hang yourself you fucking chauvinist asshole prick. You don’t belong to a mature and equal society.

    19. fuck you rajeev

      Rajeev, there is a term for people like you..its called asshole..grow up loser

    20. anon

      JNU mein undergrad nhi hota 😛

  8. X

    Its the same with a few government universities as well (from experience). Stay strong and God Bless.

  9. Donotwanttodisclose

    @ Greeshma:- As you said go back to 1850, Being modern does not mean to roam in night. Even boys roaming and not studying is not going to result anything great.You are not there to roam. I have studied in similar college and being a below average student student i am working in very re known Indian company and settled in one of the top most European country from past 3 years. If that strictness was not there i would have been unemployed. Study is not all about being free and living the life lavishly. One of my senior vice president of company told me first deserve then desire.

    Am i sensible or not that is not a question. My question is very simple why have you joined VIT? To live the life lavishly or to study? This life you will not get again. After college life you join some city like delhi/mumbai and live alone. Do what ever you want. Are these VIT people going to restricting you/stop you?

    If they are putting the restriction on you, They are not getting extra money for that. Young blood is always boiling but it does not mean we should spoil that energy in waste things. use that energy/Enthu in constructive way. Do something good for country.

    You are there to study/learn. Take this task on priority and complete that. You will not get the chance to improve your marks. you are going to carry this marks for your whole life.

    And remeber one one more thing. Doing debate and putting these things on internet do not show you are sensible and very talented. You you really want to stand for injustice go to remote town where people are not studying. fight for the injustice done to those villagers. Due to injustice/fear they are not able to send their children for studies. See the poverty of people in india.

    It is yesterdays news in NDTV that chhatisgarh government has asked election commission to provide new rule/authorization. According to this rule election authority will not put the black ink on the nails of people who vote or they might be killed by naxlites. Fight for the justice of people like them who are living in life of fear. Try to give the same type of life to them what you are living. They are not getting proper food on daily basis. fight for that. Use your yound blood to help them not to spoil the university environment. By doing this you are spoiling the other college student who are studying. You are provoking them not to study and spoil their time for all these foolish things.

    Use your sensible mind and ask yourself what benefit are you going to get by doing this. Suppose College authorities are leaving you free to roam, What benefit are you going to get. You know you are not spoiling yourself but spoiling the future also. you all ypoug people to stop studying and roam here and there and waste their time in these things.

    I know you will not understand these things but please please do not spoil the college environment.

    1. Arvind Raghavan

      It shows how much courage you have in your arguments that you don’t disclose your identity. Before anything else, you are no one to judge people for not contributing to “better” causes. Have you volunteered recently for an NGO? Have you traveled to villages to assist in relief work? At least SOME people have the decency to fight for their convictions, you are just posting cowardly anonymous comments on a website.

      Colleges are about more than “studies”. They are institutions that help forge the next generation of society. Every single industry leader, CEO, entrepreneur and visionary scientist will tell you that education is not just about memorizing textbooks to score in exams. Holistic character development is vital to a robust labor force and colleges are CRUCIAL PERIODS for students to widen their horizons through volunteerism, extra-curricular activities and personal initiatives. If you were below average in college, then better studying would not have helped you get anywhere in life. Maybe if you had picked up soft skills that DON’T come from mugging textbooks you would be doing better right now.

      Lastly, how dare you insinuate that any woman who wants more flexible time just want to spend it on what you consider inappropriate activities? All these women ask is that they be treated the same as their male peers. How colleges treat their students are a bellwether for how their society will treat them. And if ignorant mentalities like yours persist, then it is no surprise that we will remain one of the worst countries for women’s safety, female literacy, workforce participation and cultural parity.

    2. Hemant Jain

      I agree with you for the most part but the harsh tone of your argument is uncalled for. The original poster is perhaps a bit narrow-minded in his beliefs and has also failed to read the article carefully (if they had done so, they would have seen that the author wants flexible timings not just for “roaming about”). However, I can see where he’s coming from and being overly critical of his beliefs is not going to help change them. Please be more sensitive in replying even to those people whom you feel you’re directly opposed to. Also, your first sentence (“It shows how much courage you have in your arguments that you don’t disclose your identity.”) is irrelevant and clearly an ad hominem. One can have any reason not to disclose their identity, none of which should have a bearing on their argument.

    3. Donotwanttodisclose

      Mr arvind, every one in this country cannot be CEO. Do not forget that there is something what we call as middle class family. They are also happy in their life and they do not want to become CEO where you do not have time to eat your food.

      Speaking too much and breaking the glass and fighting does not mean you have a lot of courage. Just talk about middle class family and people who go and study in VIT. how many people go in IIT? 8-9 Lakhs students are graduated every year, Can everyone become the CEO.

      Do not talk about higher class and their life style. I am a person who has been born in a place where naxlism is there and i am settled in topmost European country. If i would have followed your theory which is followed by my friends, i would have been selling vegetable in my home town. My frds who have followed that ideology they are still there.

      You are talking about MIT, Have you seen that? I have seen the similer college and talked to the student who study there. speaking too much does not say you are very great. every country is different. If you really want to follow, follow china. Chinese have become one of the superpower in this world after america. Every American is like a king AKBAR. If you follow America, you will cleaning the gutter in future.

      I will give you one example. Suppose you belong to rich family and some one Mohan belong to very poor family. If mohan will start following you, He will waste his whole earning in one day. everyone is different in this world. We should stop following blindly. We are doing the biggest mistake by following western culture blindly. We must follow them but not blindly.

      They have lot of money so they spend. Do you know how much money an unemployed person get here? They get 60k in indian rupee if they are unemployed. They get electricity free,medical free,water free everything free. If they do not do job here, they still live the life of ambani. What you see in movies is not just america. if you need to do open heart surgery, Govt will do it free for you.

      If you are poor, spend the life of poor. Same way India cannot follow america blindly.

      Out of 8-9 Lakhs students graduated every year. Hardly 100 student can become CEO and 1000 student can get good paying jobs. How about other 8 lakhs atudent? Are they not studying? Can you provide high quality job to all 8 lakhs student?

      Who is taking care for those 8 lakh student? if they will study in college like VIT. They will be able to labour hard in any other company and day to day life. If you try to earn the money then you will see how much work we need to do to get rs 5k. This type of liberty will maker you lazy and you will not be able to do anything.

      Do not want to write more but just think what benefit you will get by this liberty and what harm you have you are really studying.

      Many people thinks that those who are book worm they are waste. Have you seen any book worm living their life like hell. i have seen many of people who speaks a lot in their college days but they are not able to do anything. Many of they are literally doing labour work/driving tempooes etc.

      How many book-worm(Those who study lot) have you seen who are earning less than 20-30k in their life??

    4. amy mody

      ” i am settled in topmost European country. ” Why you left Mother India? She crie for you. If you lau yuvar culture soo much, why you left? You are a traitor only. For money you are selling yourself.

    5. Fred Flintstone

      Mr. Donotwanttodisclose, I read your monoogue, and frankly speaking you’re right. Everyone in this country cannot be a CEO, and most importantly, with this attitude and backward mentality, you will never be one yourself as well. Peace.

    6. Anonymous

      You can’t even write in proper English and you’re settled in a topmost European country? Lol. Go fool somebody else lower.

    7. Spandana Cheruvu

      Mr.Donotwanttodisclose, I strongly suggest you re-read the article once again trying to clearly understand the issues the author has tried to raise. It appears to me that you have completely misunderstood what she is trying to say. There is a huge gap in understanding.

    8. Donotwanttodisclose

      I respect you Spandana. You are right but in college they are our gurooo. We are loosing the respect for our elders and Guru. our elders are living the life of hell due to this. If they are putting some restriction, we can bear them. No need to fight like this. How will you feel if your children will not listen you.? What is the need of doing all this. why to waste the golden time in all these things. You know i have been one of the poorest student in my life. Never got good marks and all but studied a college like VIT where i got quality education and i am living the life of king. I would have been selling vegetable if i would have done anything like this. Student life is always about devotion and living with difficulties. Not about fighting for rights etc. How may times she has fought for not getting her books from library?

    9. Spandana Cheruvu

      Hey Donotwanttodisclose, I will be writing many more articles on issues similar to these. I really want you to read them all. Hopefully, I will be able to change your mindset after a few articles. This is what I would like to acheive. I need not convince people whose thoughts are similar to mine. They support the cause anyway. I really wish to change attitudes of people who think otherwise. And that’s when a change will happen. And my efforts would be fruitful 😉

    10. Rakesh

      Dear Spandana,
      Awesome write-up for an awesome cause.
      Having said that, please don’t expect people like ‘dontwanttodiclose’ to ever understand your point of view. Logic and rationale can only get you so far. Trying to change someone who doesn’t understand in logic or rationale is pointless.

      P.S: Is it just me or has someone else noticed his English is really pathetic, guess, even with all his gurooos and devotion, he really should have spent some more hours in the campus. So much for “living the life of a king”!! Bah!

    11. Rita Banerji

      Dear Spandana — You are remarkable in your courage to stand by what you believe in. And it is a pity that your friends did not stand by you. The University could not discharge 1000 odds students together. And you are right. We are taught to be submissive and fearful by our parents. We can’t live like moles all our life! I find it so frustrating that even when Indian women want change, we don’t want to fight for it. Why hasn’t this come out onto the streets of Delhi I want to know? The University’s stand is unconstitutional! And blatantly so. I have signed Prof. Ted’s petition. And I intend to push this through my campaign The 50 Million Missing Campaign. Can we publish this article by you on our blog? We will circulate it along with the petition. Please leave me a message here http://ritabanerji.wordpress.com/contact/

    12. Arish

      Hey Spandana,

      It is incredibly heart warming to find young people, especially women, stand up and be counted in this country. What’s your status right now? Are you back at college? What’s the administration up to?

      There are deeply lodged structural problems in our educational institutions. Self-righteous sexism is a dimension of that, one that I loathe with everything I have. However, I am willing to go beyond rage. Are you planning to take some kind of action to fuel this fire further? Is there a way to help remotely?

      You go girl!

    13. George

      Mr.Donotwanttodisclose, I almost skipped a step while reading the disastrous comments you’d made here. First of all I feel sorry for your immaturity in understanding the whole thing and second of all I feel bad, that even a place like VIT wasn’t enough to open your closed mind.

      Good luck getting it done now. Guess what! Research says brain’s ability to rewire to new thoughts reduces drastically as you age. I can relate to what you’re saying about naxals, poverty, selling vegetables, living in Europe etc ., But how on earth does that make a convincing argument in this context? And finally dude, of all the things you’d said, having been to places and travelling countries, if your brain is still shrouded with this conservative mentality, I feel terribly sorry for you. “What worked for you, will not WORK for others”. You can see it right there.
      Everyone is born different so desires differently!

      I totally support the girl who’s victimized for raising her voice on such a simple issue. I can totally relate to all those concerns as my little sister too had been voicing em’ in failure all this time, until she graduated recently. A university like VIT can’t afford to behave like this. Not if they want to reach the heights they desire to reach. We’re raising some awareness in the alumni groups to take it up to the management in a democratic way.

    14. Navi

      Are you serious ? She teaches kids part time. Where is the question of roaming. Even if she did roam, that is her decision. Why do boys should get a chance to roam around and girls should stay indoors. She talks about gender inequality.
      You are dumb. Just because you are in European country working for some big MNC does not make you any special. These days, any B.tech graduate working in some MNC, gets to work in some foreign country.

      I totally support her. VIT this is not medieval age. Start respecting women and instil the correct basic sense in students.

    15. Donotwanttodisclose

      Why not you start paying us we will work for you. I never said that i am great, I am a middle class person and live the life of normal people. Working hard and labouring hard to come/reach the income of atleast middle class. If i will follow you i might be selling vegetable in delhi market and dreaming about aishwarya daily.

    16. Navi

      It is futile to talk to you. You can never understand gender equality. You want this forum to preach your ideas about education and restriction. Utter nonsense. You are settled in a European country, what about helping other kids from the naxalite area to be successful. What about equal opportunity for a boy and a girl.

      That is precisely the young lady wants. She wanted to teach. It is her spare time. Did you study 24×7 during your engineering. Did not you even pause for an occasional movie. If she can manage a balance between her studies and extra curricular, then who are you to dictate a lifestyle for her. Where has she broken a glass or fought with any teacher. Doesn’t she have the right to voice her opinion ?. She just conducted a survey. Do you mean to say that approximately 400 girls of VIT wrongly perceive the restriction as gender bias and you sir, have never been wrong ?
      Guru’s are meant to provide the right education. Didn’t in ancient times, women in India were respected ? Then where has this bias crept in ?
      If someone asks you to do something, do you blindly follow or do you use your brains to analyse. What is wrong with her analysis.
      I accept, you should respect your guru, but accepting wrong doings is not out of respect, but our of fear.

      Oh and by the way, I am not selling vegetables in a Delhi market..I worked in one of the elite government organizations in India for several years and now I am in Carnegie Mellon University pursuing higher education. I did not go to IIT or even VIT, and I am not a book worm either. and in any case.. none of us over here are selling vegetables.

    17. Donotwanttodisclose

      Just remember that VIT is not that bad also. They give enough free time from 6 AM to 7 PM. And if you are really exception where you need free time in night also, you are free to join the college from outside,.

      Simply blaming college for that is also not good. You had money so you was able to go to Carnegie Mellon University. Average students still need to study hard to get admission in normal college. When students join VIT after completing 12th they are not mature like us and they use this freedom in wrong way and spoil their education. Do not forget that graduation age in India starts at 16.

      And for your knowledge i am helping a lot for students from my area to get education. Even girls education. I am helping financially/mentally and convincing their parents. When students join the college at the age of 16 they are not able to use this liberty positively.I still believe that there is nothing bad in strictness of VIT. Those college(Exect IIT and other prestigious college) where liberty is given % of students getting success is very less. In tamilnadu itself we have college like Vinayaka mission, Bharat university, veltech university etc where full freedum is given and see the students of that college. % of students getting success from these colleges is very less. If you are not happy with VIT please join there rather than changing VIT to vinayaka.

      You said none of us is not selling vegetable here, but are they not a student and they have not done their graduation? why not you try giving equal rights to them? Fight for them also.

    18. Navi

      If you think that money gives you an admission in Carnegie Mellon University, then you ought to re think. I am out of here, I cannot waste me time with you.

    19. Ashutosh

      “Dearest” donotwanttodisclose,..

      Reading all your comments, I or rather we ALL in this forum have come to a very befitting conclusion that your brain still dates back to the 1600’s.
      You say colleges (yes,”Exect” the IIT’s like you said) giving freedom to students do poorly?
      Well , then I guess all the students should be rushing to VIT, as it is so amazing?!
      For your information ( though I know you won’t be able to process it due to the crap inside your head), I come from a “Non- IIt) university, and we have ample freedom for both girls and guys and to your surprise, we have amazing pass outs every year with a very bright future and great jobs (if that’s all you want).Freedom and equality cannot and should not be curtailed in any manner.
      I am so sure you went to one of those backward colleges, which is the result why you speak for this archaic rule.Come out of your bubble and look at the broader perspective.

      P.S…please repeat your college if you have to to improve that “English” of yours!

      Get well soon! 🙂

    20. Fred Flintstone

      +1 to your comment good sir.

      And Mr. Donotwanttodisclose, it is beyind futile trying to talk to you. Why don’t you just get it into that thick head of your that what a student does after college hours is none of the college’s damn business. It’s only in India that we have segregated hostels. Go beyond the borders and you’ll common dorm rooms for everyone to coexist. But I guess you’re content being the middle-class sexist that you are.

    21. amy mody

      Saru, how yuvar answer is answering this question? You are talking something else only. Because you have no answer for this:

      “She teaches kids part time. Where is the question of roaming. Even if she did roam, that is her decision. Why do boys should get a chance to roam around and girls should stay indoors. She talks about gender inequality.”

    22. Anonymous

      Stop milking the “middle class” label. It can get u only so far. You call yourself middle class and mock a vegetable seller? Is he a lower class?
      Dreaming about Aishwarya?
      Shows want a chauvinist prick dumbass you are.
      Good luck in your ‘topmost’ European country.

    23. Abhijit sinha

      Hi Mr. Donotwanttodisclose, I am Abhiiit Sinha (Idonthaveaproblemdisclosing). I have been closely involved with the VIT issue right from the beginning. However, this article is not a rant about VIT. You see, a lot of private colleges/universities try to curb freedom of speech in all the ways possible. This because they are generally owned by families and have autonomy over their operations. You seem to consider studying and getting a job as the only outcomes of going to a college and is know many will agree with you there. However, in my opinion, personality and character development are important goals of a degree education. Crippling students by means of threats and fear diabolically prevents achieving this goals.
      If we can’t stand up for ourselves when we are in college, imagine what kind of citizens we would be in future. We would always be crippled, our mouths shut permanently, scared to even say NO. Colleges are supposed help us find direction and not just get a job. Ever wondered why when a person is being beaten up on the street, everyone including the high class highly paid people choose to stand and watch, and do nothing. Social cripples won’t you say!

    24. Rakesh

      Donotwanttodisclose: Dude, which college did you go to? I just have one simple question for you, Did they teach English in your college??

  10. Pratap Mohan

    Dear Spandana: You are a torch bearer for change. An attempt to change anything is like an adventure. One does not know what it will result into. But one thing is certain, it leaves you evolved. Evolved to handle situations with better planning and execution, equipped to accept surprises and improve dependencies on your “friends and acquaintances”. Alternatively, one may also be disheartened and permanently demolished. It is your choice. Change is required all the time and everywhere. So if you are the change type, you will remain a constant pain in the a… to people around you throughout your life. The ones around you will hardly support but enjoy the results. It is your call.

    Before I go further, I must admit that I am a father of a daughter roughly your age. And in the societal context we are living, it is very demanding on the parents to balance the risks of exposing their young daughters to the society against the pitfalls of not developing the confidence and ability to survive in future. Most parents go by the cultural trend of assuming that nothing bad will happen, now and in future, if women control their exposure outside the four walls of their houses. But there are inherent risks involved, by not learning through experience. Most do not think about it, or do not care.

    There are going to be a variety of views on your action, but attempting equality and justice is the right approach. VIT authorities have their own pressures to handle and they have taken the archaic approach, so common across our society – men can wear pants (western) while women can only wear a saree (Indian). Yuck. But do not stop or be intimidated. And to complete your degree, you need to get legal remedy immediately. Law cannot go against equality and high handedness of authorities.

  11. Amit

    Even ICFAI Hyderabad has a similar story

  12. Navya

    One question- How can I help?

    1. Abhijit sinha

      Please mail us at contact@e4d.in or abhijit@e4d.in if you wanna get in touch

  13. Hema Nair

    Just look at the Donotwanttodisclose’s comments down there. If I had such a limited world view along with such sparse vocabulary, I would “Donotwanttodisclosetoo”. Just could not resist that – sorry. On a more serious note, you are totally on the right track. I would be so proud to have a daughter like you. Just take heart in the fact that a lot of us have banged our heads on the glass ceiling and come up on top, you will too. All the best to you in your endeavours, I wish you every success, and the strength to stay on your chosen path.

  14. Ted Moallem

    Please sign and share this petition, to encourage VIT administrators to listen to their students and faculty, rather than punishing dissent.

    https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/vit-university-give-women-equal-rights-and-stop-suppressing-free-speech

    1. Rajan

      Power to you man. I just signed it. Not sure how else I can help, can’t believe I was oblivious to all this in my four years there.

  15. Sanjay

    Dear Spandana,
    It is so brave of you to talk and put forth efforts to bring a change in the system. I am from the rival university of VIT in the same state. Our rules are more stringent than yours and more orthodox while even the guys feel it embarrassing with depriving of freedom. “Expel” is the word we often hear in our University, be it from the hostels or from the University itself. I felt so bad for the girls in the college who were treated like cattle driven to the hostels and with the security more than pentagon. A guy and a girl talking to each other is considered a crime and yes the next step would be seizing of your I.D card.
    I was running a robotics club where in my final year was recruiting students. Frankly speaking, I always considered enrolling lesser number of girls due to the restrictions imposed on them. We guys were given freedom to work all the night in the labs while the gals were restricted till 6 pm. Sometime back during my internship at an IIT, while working in the robotics lab, I saw gals staying longer in the labs and clubs working harder than guys, I felt so happy for them and after my return I tried all my ways to plan things for gals to carry out work in their rooms. However, it dint work very effectively.
    I tried opening my mouth for them a couple of times, unfortunately even the faculty were also helpless and all that I get is suspicion in the end. I tried doing a random survey with the friends I knew in my circle, around 20% of the girls feel that its insecure with the restrictions itself or rather are more concerned about the effects of sudden freedom being given, which is something notable.
    Also, recently there was a confessions page opened on facebook in the name of my university. We all were happy to share those happy stupid things we did during our bachelors. When it was started there were a lot of innocent posts by all the alumni which were mostly positive. However, with time things started getting worse. There was no innocence rather filled with obscene stories. Finally, I withdrew from the group. Now tell me what would you as a faculty or an administrator do or think with all those inputs? There was freedom for expression and it was wrongly utilized. The problem infact is that, we are not used to freedom or rather prefer to be restricted and hence your predicament of lacking support.
    A thought into the broader scenario made me realize that there are a lot of compelling issues in this society which are dragging down the freedom of youth. The overwhelming crime rates against women is a great concern and the young India is battling this holocaust. I feel, may be there was all the freedom in the beginning and then it were the mistakes in the past which brought us to this situation. Or rather, the older generations lack that maturity of dealing with younger ones. It takes immense amount of wisdom in dealing such sensitive issues and time surely has answers for it.
    If I were you I couldnt have taken my battle so far. Because, my ambitions for this nation on the whole are different from yours. I see a great concern for social betterment in you from the battle you are fighting. All that I can say is dont loose your heart, its hard, it pains and people poke you and criticize you. A frank fellow has more enemies than anyone else, but very few can understand you.
    Now that the issue has come so far till expulsion, I suppose legal battle is the only answer. But, you should also be ready to face the consequences raising internally later. All the very best. Do let us know of any help you need.

  16. Hari Narayana

    A bold and genuine article. I am not questioning, but if such thing is happening in an educational institution, the shows the sick minds of the management and so called baton bearers of the male chauvinists (one of them is this guy who does not want to disclose). I think people like him are the ones responsible for the numerous atrocities on females.

    1. Aravind

      what male chauvinists….you seem to be blissfully ignorant of all the violations happening against men……..do you know that many of the violations are legally imposed because vilating rights of men because of their gender is LEGAL in many aspects………i think its men like you who are responsible for many of the atrocities against men….both legal and illegal injustices

    2. Harshith

      Atrocities such as? I don’t know what reality you’re living in, but men in our country don’t need to fight for their rights. They already have them. Whatever loopholes you see in the legal system are just that: loopholes. They are a result of poor legislation, not feminism.

    3. Abhishek Sambari

      I don’t know of any atrocities against men in India. But I will take your word for it. So if there are any that you feel so passionate about, then you should bring them forward and fight against them. However, just because these atrocities against men exist, does not make it right to discriminate against women. Do you see the logic?

  17. Arundhyoti Sarkar

    The only reason that convinced my parents to send me to a university 4000kms away from home was that it was safe or simply a jail. The situation that you have faced runs around the whole country, though unreported. I am proud of you that you have actually voiced yourself.

    Safety is the main concern here. We must understand that it is rationally easier for the management to maintain decorum by restricting the fewer, generally complaisant, physically weaker section; hence the discrimination. These orthodox rules were made years ago according to the social norms then, when women were less informed. However things have changed and it is time for the authorities to realize that. But the sad part is that discrimination is so ubiquitous that it seems all normal, how on earth would you get a 9% No!

    Also, it is important for all of us (boys and girls) to understand that we must not misuse the freedom given to us. That will only prove us immature who needs protection. Another thing is that we often confuse westernization and modernization. We can be MODERN yet TRADITIONAL.

    Spandana, you are a trend setter and a brave one. I truly hope the situation is ameliorated soon. Please do let us know if we can contribute somehow.

  18. Alex Joseph

    Is it just me or has anybody else already figured out that “Idontwanttodisclose” is actually Batman? O’ Dark Knight! We appeal to thee to come rescue us. Lead us from light to darkness. You are the hero that we don’t deserve, but have to suffer.

  19. A

    Hi. I am a former student of VIT. It seems that you are a headstrong, independent person who works hard for what is right. However, you are not that wise. Don’t get me wrong, but going against the management even after they warned you was a stupid thing to do. As I said before, you are a strong and independent person. It doesn’t mean every girl is. Many of them are looking for a good time to hang out. You cannot deny the dangers they may face. The management is never liked by anyone. It is rare that you see a management (Govt. , Private ) that are praised all the time. Even in developed countries, there is a limitation to voicing your woes. I doubt that even if you set up an institution, everyone is going to be happy about it. Keep in mind that the management does not have the tool to distinguish between girls like you and others. They do what they do to protect their name. And keeping girls safe is one of them.
    Many people will hate what I have said. But think about it. It is not a perfect world where you get what you want. Change is a slow process. Never a swift one. Good luck for your future. I would advise you to focus on how to get your degree rather than a college you don’t belong anymore.
    And uh… sorry if my being blunt hurt you.

    1. anonymous

      100% truly said. when these people will join company they will not have the courage to speak. There is something what we call as discipline. We are forgetting that completely.

      Now a day young generation is misleaded and quickly adopting the wrong doing and wrong things. and if you tell the right thing they will take this as a preach.

    2. raghu

      Dear anonymous,

      People like you will always follow the mob and end up being nothing but, one among many. (Sorry, if am being too straight)

      And, how do you judge the whole young generation?

      Am sure people like this girl will have a better future than other mob (that, I mentioned above).

      If you take it the other way, with your last line, I would say, the management should teach the girl on whats wrong and why.

    3. anonymous

      what do you think mob is not having life??? Only you have life???

      Why can’t you think about whole india.. Why do you only want to grow??? why cannot you grow with mob???

    4. Raj

      You are right. Gandhi should never have spoken up against the British “management.” Neither should have Bhagat Singh, or Sardar Valabhbhai Patel!

    5. anonymous

      Because of you india is not growing. you want to grow you want to fight for your right your lavish life your GF everything but you never see that due to you india is not growing. Parents are not sending their boys children for studies forget about girls. they Do do not want to see his/her children walking in night. Night is meant for sleeping. resting.

    6. amy mody

      “Night is meant for sleeping. resting.” But only for girls no? Because for boys night is meant for drinking, smoking and hurling slang LOL.

    7. Spandana Cheruvu

      Yes anonymous, it is not safe for anyone to be *walking at night * be it male or female. We are not opposing that point. Again I would like to remind that we are talking about freedom of speech and gender discrimination. It must not be confused with the safety aspect. Actually, I really want all the universities to be giving self defence training if safety is their actual concern. Don’t you think so?

    8. aliya

      Could you SOUND any more uneducated and backwards? The world, and India, has gone global. Night is the new day and VV. The world works on global time now.

      And also, stop trying to insult the general population of young India who manages just fine with their “lavish” lives. Let me tell you, managing life on a budget when you’re suddenly tossed out on your own is no joke. It takes learning like everything else. And please don’t try to sully relationships. Having a GF or BF doesn’t make anyone less than anyone. In fact, if you’re able to carry off a successful, productive relationship while keeping up with the academics etc, kudos to you! You go Glen Coco!

    9. A

      Chandler Bing…..Nice 🙂

    10. Rajan

      Looks like anonymous is a troll. Ignoring his posts would be the best option to deflate his balloons.

    11. Fred Flintstone

      People who must do wrong, will do wrong, whether it’s between 8 AM to 6 PM, or 6 PM to 8 AM is immaterial. Your attitude is frankly disturbing, and someone like you will never go far in life. Your generalization that “Now a day young generation is misleaded and quickly adopting the wrong doing and wrong things” is damn hilarious, and your self-righteousness is at best amusing.

    12. Fred Flintstone

      I’m a dude, and I still think the whether or not a lady wants to work, work out or have a “good time” is entirely dependent on the wish of the person, and depriving her of the same is intrinsically the most stupidest sub-law in existence, especially one who is 21-22 years of age and entirely capable of making her own decisions. Also, your comment isn’t hurtful. It’s sexist.

    13. A

      I hate this anonymous guy….he ruins my points :/

  20. Subhradeep Pal

    I want to ask what sort of academic,professional and extra-curricular activities that u people say are deprived of?? I agree there should be same in time for girls and boys but before that i like to ask what professional ,extra-curricular activities u people want to carry out outside vit at night when you people have enough opportunities inside?? I also want to ask how u people are going to prepare yourselves to deal with life outside vit campus?? I am a vitian and don’t i know what opportunities are there outside vit campus that you people can turn to your advantage.Do u people know what the males do outside?? Most of the boys drinks,smokes and hurl slang to each other.I mean to say we go outside Vit campus to spend some time relieving ourselves from the academic pressure.Are you people deprived of these enjoyment stuffs?? If yes then speak out clearly that we are unable to enjoy our lives,don’t give excuses of academics and extracurricular activities. These excuses won’t help. There are several issues like wrong system,low quality faculties,favouritism.Why those issues are not raised when you people are so good at making an issue so big as this??

    1. Rajan

      You’re completely missing the point aren’t you? What does it matter to the girls what guys do? These girls spend most of the day on some extracurricular activities and when they simply want to wind down and have some food outside or do some work that involves going out, they aren’t allowed to get in late while the guys can. This is straight discrimination. The guys can work in the day and wind down during night while the girls are locked inside at night. “If yes then speak out clearly that we are unable to enjoy our lives,don’t give excuses of academics and extracurricular activities.” This statement reeks of ignorance. Man, do you think everyone is like you? People are unique and everyone spends their time differently. Yes, some people actually work, spend time on academics and extracurricular activities. If you can’t comprehend that, you should check in to a mental institution or something.

      “There are several issues like wrong system,low quality faculties,favouritism.Why those issues are not raised when you people are so good at making an issue so big as this??”

      This is like saying why is the country having a space program when that money could be spend on feeding the poor? Such ignorant fools man, jeez!

    2. anonymous

      why not you simply say that because of this you are forced to drink with boys,smoke with boys and hurl slang with boys.

      You want to do all these with girls.

    3. Rajan

      Ugh, can’t believe I’m replying to this. Let me take a shot. You talk as if having a drink or a smoke is morally bad. No it isn’t, there are some health effects but you don’t become a bad person by doing so.

      Secondly, If the college thinks there is nothing useful for girls to do after hours, then shut the boys in too. Let’s see how they’ll take that, eh?

    4. anonymous

      100% True subhradeep. These girls also want to all stuff what you said. These girls wants to give the excuse of extra-curricular activities and Drink,smokes and hurl slang to each other. When college is stopping them they are taking step like this.

      Due to these types of girls whole education system is getting spoiled. Now a day parents are feared to send their children alone to any college especially girl ward. Until and unless some relatives are not there no one is sending their girl children for studies. And then we are getting the actual gender bias.

      My point is very simple if you want to do all these stuff live outside and do. Why do you want to spoil the hostel environment where parents have a lot of hope and they send their children their girl ward hoping hostel is safe and good place.I meet with many parents all of them are worried for college environment.

    5. amy mody

      talking to yourself again Subhradeep? time for your meds.

    6. Raj

      I think there should be a similar curfew to both the girl and boy wards. I’m not saying the girls should be let out at night like the boys are. I’m saying NEITHER should be, or both should be. Discriminating policies based purely on gender is illegal.

    7. Spandana Cheruvu

      Subhradeep, if you read my article very carefully, you will see that I am one of the co founders of an NGO called Education for Devolepment trust (E4D) http://e4d.in. Do check it to understand our mission. To carry out the *professional* activities of setting up the center which is situated off campus, I needed extra time . It is shallow to think that people go out only to smoke and drink. Please do not be judgemental. World is so big and there is so much to do and learn. There is no reason to deprive girls of those opportunities. Many other girls have a wide range of reasons to go off campus. It is really not right to simply jail them inside just because you think there is nothing constructive to do outside.

    8. Andrea Mandal (@triliana)

      If this is indeed what the boys do, perhaps they also should be subject to in-time so they do not waste their brain cells on such stupid activity.

  21. shivam

    what else do you expect from a shitty college like VIT?

  22. Shruti

    why dont you sue them? You have a really strong case here. I suggest you hire a good lawyer amd make this very public. You must shame them..

  23. Manaved Nambiar

    To all the misogynist haters who are commenting on this post, claiming that what this lady did was wrong, you people are the scum of society. You might have your degrees and diplomas but your mind is still a relic of the medieval ages.
    The actions she has taken may have caused a minor setback in her life but at least she’ll sleep well at night, knowing that she fought for a good cause.
    Unlike most of us keyboard wielding activists, I might add.

    1. Aravind

      I see nothing more than hate in your statements. You never bothered to say WHY you think like this. In any case VIT is private and they should have freedom without your intrusion to decide how they shall run their college…..there are many colleges where they don’t take men at all…..what about that gender discrimination? equality only when it is convenient to women?

    2. Harshith

      The fact that VIT is private does not put it above criticism. It does not mean that VIT students should silently accept every piece of dung thrown at them by the administration.
      Nobody said that VIT shouldn’t be allowed to operate however they want. The point was that their current mode of operation is flat-out idiotic and will produce graduates who are vastly out of sync with the modern world. This is against their own interest..

  24. Bhanu Prakash

    Dear Spandana,

    ‘The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing’ – Edmund Bruke..

    Be proud for doing the correct thing. Be strong and I am sure you will succeed in any path that life takes you.

  25. Srinivas

    How can I help? Just an advice, post it here what readers can do to help.

  26. Kush

    I appreciate your zeal to fight for what you believe is right. its very true that the general attitude is one of compliance, and its encouraging when someone speaks up for what they believe in

  27. Harini Nandini Daliparthy

    This is absolutely incorrect, what some of our teachers say is that when God didn’t create you equally, then how can you claim for it. But all what we say is that boys shoudn’t get that much of freedom which would give them more opportunities to do anything in life than girls get.

    1. Pramita Ray

      It is amazing that people in positions of authority in an educational institution, like these teachers and administrators, are actually allowed to get away with saying things as openly discriminatory and illogical as “…God didn’t create you equally, then how can you claim for it” in post-Independence 21st century India. Makes you realise just how institutionalised misogyny and and discrimination is, as also regressive irrational beliefs. No wonder we are in this pitiable state in terms of gender equality when most countries of India’s economic standing are far ahead. Socially we seem to be at a standstill. And we have the audacity to dream of being a “developed” nation.

  28. A

    “Misogynist haters” means people who hate people who hate women….isn’t that a good thing? Maybe you just learned the word 😛 Anyways, I hardly think you would have a good nights sleep when you have a lawsuit to file against an institution like VIT which by the way has expelled you. You spend 3 years (and a lot of money) and you end up not getting your degree. Your friends did not support you. No one will come forward for you, you helplessly flap about in newspapers and what not to get attention to your pitiable situation, which will soon be forgotten by all in the coming years…..do I need to go on?
    Like I have said before, it was not a practical decision to keep revolting after being threatened by the management. What can you do for gender equality in a college you don’t belong now?
    Many people will continue commenting, but how many will actually help? The situation is such that very few will actually stand up. Voting makes no difference. It is anonymous. Only people from VIT can do something about it. As Spandana has already said, they are too scared to come out. No one with a practical mind will come out. Spandana, as I said before focus on getting your degree rather than your fanatic objective for gender equality.

    1. amy mody

      great advice A. Hope you never have a daughter.

    2. Arvind Raghavan

      For as long as there are anonymous trolls who haven’t the courage to identify themselves with their bigoted views, yes, it will be a challenge to overcome inertia for people who are brave enough to take a stand. Fyi, plenty has changed in the past 65 years. And all those changes came about because some person was not as conformist or worshipping the establishment like an unthinking slave. Your advice is amazing, I’m sure you’d have been of great use to the fight against government corruption. After all, if you risk losing your job and your peers don’t support you you should sell yourself out, right? That’s what got us independence, too I imagine. Ugh. If you haven’t the courage to oppose sexism in the 21st century, at least don’t dissuade those who are trying.

      and fyi? “Misogynist” can be an adjective too. Meaning you’re a misogynist and a hater, you’re a “misogynist hater.” :\ substantive descriptors, you see. Google it.

    3. Aravind

      Over last 65 years, there were several laws violating into men’s individual liberty and property rights……….also government related and democracy related discrimination against men like reservations etc…….”women empowerment” is a very politically profitable term in this country called India…..everyone thinks he is feminist and every one else is not……everyone thinks he is only exception….there are tremendous discriminations against men, both legally and illegally and men still live in fool’s paradise of imaginary “male privileges”

    4. A

      Aravind..dude you need to learn that not being against something doesn’t necessarily mean that you are against it. If you take a minute and read my posts, I have never justified or defended the management, nor have I said that Spandana’s thinking is wrong. I just said that she did not make a practical decision. Also, you stray away from the topic by talking about me. You make illogical conclusions about someone you don’t know without properly understanding what he has to say. Before writing, please take time to read and understand what someone has written. I am a realist. As I said, change is a slow process. You talk about independence. It took us more than 200 years to get it. You talk about corruption, Aravind Kejriwal learned that nothing practical could be achieved by fasting. So, he founded a party, a more effective method. All I said was open confrontation did not work. Spandana stood up alone. She has to face the consequences. Not you.
      PS: Thank you for adding something new to my vocabulary….and please get rid of the pipe. Don’t insult Sherlock!

    5. Manaved Nambiar

      Dear A,
      As Aravind kindly pointed out, misogynist IS an adjective in this context, and a very apt one at that. But I digress, I am not going to argue the finer nuances of the English language with a person who thinks ‘Anyways’ is an actual word.
      Anyway, as you said, we’re deviating from the actual topic by discussing grammar.
      Your claim that people won’t stand up is absurd, to say the least. If people really did not care, then I doubt this issue would have gained so much publicity already. People do care, they just need a cause to fight for, a nudge in the right direction. Don’t be so pessimistic, please, every great fire needed a spark. As you said, change is not a spontaneous reaction. Then why must we discourage it whenever it tries to crop up.

      P.S. As far as completing your degree is concerned, I too, strongly recommend not giving up on your education. Whatever said and done, this is not an ideal world and a back up plan is necessary. Also, if I might just add, thanks for bringing all this in the public eye.

    6. A

      I did not see this reply…..Anyways is an actual word …just not a proper one

    7. Arvind Raghavan

      Ermm. My pipe is actually a tribute to Bertrand Russell (once again, google) whose work on the freedom against injustice you should probably read. (Sherlock would probably be more insulted by silence of the masses, at any rate).

      If the tenor of your advice were merely that (I.e. don’t give up your degree. Be pragmatic about the way you fight. Don’t be too reckless) I would have thoroughly agreed with you because a degree is still rather important. But that is far from the way you said it. Deriding someone’s genuine efforts is not what a well wisher does. Yes, progress takes time. And many have been fighting against sexism in our society for more than 2000 years, forget 200. But someone needs to DO something every now and then other than make snide remarks from the comfort of anonymous comment-sections.

      And besides, petitions have been achieving quite a lot lately, without the need to protest and riot. And hopefully if the support she receives online (unlike those who merely mock her) then she won’t have to do anything. But at least she’s trying, which is more than can be said for some other people.

    8. JayaVamshi

      Mr. A,
      I agree with you that Spandana stood alone and faced the consequences, unfortunately her friends didn’t support the cause though she was right, If you feel that she is right support her and we will give her strength to fight, i do agree that i took 200 years to get independence, but change-maker Mahatma Gandhi did not take the entire 200 years fighting he took around 50 years. if we provide support she can achieve what she is fighting for and bring a change in at-least one hell hole like VIT and Mr.A please don’t commit the same mistake her peers has done.

    9. Spandana Cheruvu

      Dear A, firstly, I do not consider my situation pitiable. I would rather be in this situation than be herded like cows. I am really proud and happy. 🙂 True my peers are scared at this moment. But I am positive many will start being less scared as each day because it will register in their minds that its not *impossible* to go against a management as strong and autocratic as VIT. Student empowerment WILL happen. It is really your choice whether you want to be a part of the change. Secondly, I have not been expelled yet and I have strong faith I won’t be expelled in future as I have a good academic record. VIT acknowledges it. I will get my degree. However, I really would like you to pay attention to the latter part of the article and spend some time thinking about it. India needs its youngsters

  29. amy mody

    Some of the comments here to this well articulated post are truly incredible. Perhaps they are VIT officials spewing their poison? So called educated people are posting here in an attempt to shame someone who is standing up for human rights. These are the people who go on to become our colleagues at work – how must they be treating their female co-workers? How must they be treating their own wives and daughters? People like Subhradeep who belong to the upwardly mobile middle-classes are the true roadblocks in India’s development. Despite an expensive higher education in the most advanced technical fields, their minds reside in the medieval times. Why blame illiterate villagers for the ills of India when you have enablers of inequality amongst the advantaged classes?

    All, please go sign the petition – https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/vit-university-give-women-equal-rights-and-stop-suppressing-free-speech

  30. Aravind

    Should financial dependence allow the parents to control the lives of their fully grown up children?
    yes, if fully grown up children cannot take up basic self responsibility of looking after oneself, they have no right to claim freedom from parents, only responsibility which may be imposed on parents is to provide a suicide opportunity for children with minimum pain. “empowerment” is a term of convenience without self responsibility or justice…if we relate to feminism, they want “equality” along with “traditional privileges”….in any case VIT is private and so they deserve freedom to run their hostels with their wish….any student who may create a hostile situation for the management for no valid reason may have to face disciplinary action

    1. amy mody

      ” “empowerment” is a term of convenience without self responsibility or justice…”

      so true. all those boys are empowered to go out at night. but what do they do? Drink, smoke and hurl slangs. dirty fellows.

    2. Anirudh Kidambi

      Amy – I don’t think you are helping the cause of gender equality by yourself making gender-biased accusations.

      There are boys who abuse that freedom like you said. But I also know of boys who used that freedom to do odd-jobs and raise money for their families while studying in college. I also know of boys who involved themselves in projects of engineering, art, music and many other productive activities. Not all boys are “dirty fellows”.

    3. amy mody

      Anirudh you are not helping the cause of humanity with your support of discriminatory practices and your poor sense of humour. you say, “any student who may create a hostile situation for the management for no valid reason may have to face disciplinary action”. So according to you the management is right to punish the girl. Next, the management will decide that all students named Anirudh must wear donkey suits and serve tea to the principal. You’ll be fine with that, I’m sure!!!

    4. Anirudh Kidambi

      Amy – please read who wrote what before insulting me. You are attributing Mr. Aravind’s statement to me. My response to him is below, so you may read that to understand my views and what I support.

      I am sorry for whatever happened to make you hate men so much. I wish society were a better place. Hopefully with efforts like this, it will.

    5. amy mody

      Ohh yes, you’re right!! i checked. Arvind Anirudh so confusing. Yes, i attributed Arvind’s statement to you.

      But here, lemme talk to you for a little bit, kiddo. You say – “Amy – I don’t think you are helping the cause of gender equality by yourself making gender-biased accusations.” If you can’t get sarcasm, you need to work on yourself. I’m guessing you must have read other comments on this article, including mine as well as those of great souls such as A, one Mr.anonymous and Dontwanttodisclose? Did you not come across “drink, smoke and hurl slangs” by Mr.anonymous in one of the comments below? So let me explain to you in simple language, I am making a sarcastic reference to this simple side-splitting reference that Mr.anonymous makes about what boys do during the dark hours of the night!!! Get it? Good!! Peace out, kid.

    6. Anirudh Kidambi

      I don’t think you are a parent yourself, or if you are I feel sorry for your children.

      In my experience, No parent wants their children to commit suicide – no matter what the occasion.

      And these are children asking to be given responsibility, and an opportunity to learn and live in society without their freedom being restricted.

      Financially supporting your children doesn’t give you the right to suppress their individuality or expression or freedom – whether they are fully grown or still kindergarten. Good parenting involves teaching responsibility to your children, along with giving them the opportunities to use their judgement and live.

      These “children” are asking to have freedom to choose where they want to take their lives, and they deserve their freedom.

      These “children” also need guidance and help in understanding the implications of their choices, and someone with a greater experience in life should be able to provide that guidance without having to shout them out and stifle their individuality.

      Being a private institution or management doesn’t absolve any organization from its responsibility. The university and the hostel is responsible to provide a healthy environment to learn – and this includes learning how to participate in curricular and extra-curricular activities. The students and the parents are paying customers of the university, and the management is answerable to the customers.

      How would you feel if a restaurant snubs you by saying they are a private organization and have no liability after giving you food poisoning?

      Freedom of speech is a fundamental right given by the Indian constitution. No individual or or organization has a right to curb your expression. If the students of the university wanted to express their dissatisfaction with the University rules through a website, a blog and a survey. They have that right.

      The situation was turned hostile by the University by threatening the students and curbing their constitutional rights.

      A responsible action from the University would have involved calling a forum and trying to alleviate the students’ problems. If it is not something that can be solved, then they can explain the situation to the students in a way they can understand.

      The management is supposedly comprised of adults, and the students are supposed to be “children”. Who do you think has the greater responsibility in handling the situation amicably?

  31. Fred Flintstone

    Vellore is a shit uni, and I honestly feel so bad for the students here: case in point, this lady here. I hope students entirely stop going there.
    I have three links for everyone to read.

    1. http://engg.entrancecorner.com/discussion-forum/144-aieee/110218-beware-studentsvit-unmasked.html
    2. http://www.engineering.careers360.com/vit-fraud-truth-about-vit
    3. http://vitinsider.blogspot.in/

    Rest if upto the good reader to make up their minds.
    God speed.

  32. Rishabh Sachdeva

    Instituions like this (and VIT is not alone – TN has some of the most self righteous colleges in this country) are a national shame. Their aim is to produce a mass mediocre and subservient skeletons who by the end of their time they are done have lost their sense of individuality. Thankfully there are students who escape this assembly line approach but really the word institution should be replaced by factory in the case of many of these places. For some of them to be placed amongst the best in the country just goes to show what we expect these places to represent. Any talk of leadership and change is a disgrace for these colleges and no wonder the best colleges in the world are light years ahead. It is this misplaced moral and high handed ego of these colleges and their so called managements that will never let us break the steady state of mediocrity that we congratulate each other on. This particular issue at hand is a testament to just how uncomfortable these people are to allow change and democracy to take it’s course. All the buildings, the rankings, the jobs are hollow, if the college doesn’t have a learning and discussion powered soul. I hope lakhs of kids read this story and decide against joining colleges who refuse to grow up.

  33. Rishabh Sachdeva

    There’s this tone here in some messages that the author is a different girl and is different from ‘other girls’ who would use the time to ‘have fun’ and ‘enjoyment’ and blah blah. These women are apparently ‘dangerous’. I suggest to the men who wrote these comments that they better go and snuggle with their parents for the rest of their lives. It is shameful that after being educated how many of us can still remain idiots. The uneducated of this country i think are sometimes better than these more dangerous ignorants. One of the things that seems evident is that most of those writing have probably never spent any amount of time with women. They probably do not know what women talk, think and do with the time they have. Women might as well be cattle if people are kind, hyenas if they think they are being real or draculas if they are venting out their frustration. It’s shameful that we project so poorly of ourselves. I wish the author best of luck and I hope that she and her friend can come out of this mess with pride and strength.

    1. A

      Last time I checked, women are people. Every person has different views,way of talking, thinking and doing things. The whole objective of gender inequality is to replace words like girls, boys with “people” in these matters….Again, please understand what I have to say before rambling on.

    2. A

      Ah! Sorry ….. read gender equality… my bad

  34. anne

    Dear Mr./Ms. A,

    What you are suggesting is to just bury your head in the sand and ignore social injustices. This is exactly what the problem, this is what Spandana’s classmates are doing and this attitude is what is wrong with our society in general. You are not being practical, you’re being chicken. You are also wrong on several other fronts. This story is getting attention primarily because of her courage and there are plenty of people out there who will do much more than just talk about it on forums. This is also more than about the ridiculous rules set down by the college. What is alarming is the way they tried to suppress any dissent instead of of changing policies to address issues that students have raised. This is outright oppression and giving into this right now will only make matters worse down the line.

    Also, what do you mean by her “fanatic” objective of gender equality. The minute a woman decides to speak up against injustice, and does not back down to a little pressure she’s a fanatic? It’s about time that gender equality was something that came naturally and not something that one had to fight tooth and nail to achieve. Part of the problem with achieving this objective is people like you who’d rather shut up and take shit than do something about it.

  35. Sai Deepak Bhimaraju

    Only if more people start doing this, rules will begin to change.

  36. Rohith

    Great work! Good luck to you!! The only reason such a rule exists is because we expect the management to take responsibility if some bad incident happens to one of its students. The management tries to shrug itself of this burden by imposing more rules. But I feel freedom should not be curbed to prevent its misuse by few students. Anyways keep us posted about this.

  37. Anirudh Kidambi

    Hello Spandana. I truly admire your spirit and willingness to stick for your views and ideals. And I wish every student in all the colleges in India are as proactive and involved in their society and you are. It is no small feat, to bring this issue to international view.

    The gender-inequality is a huge problem in the country, and in the world.

    It is unfair that you are required to perform activities that require equal or greater responsibilities, without access to the same privileges. Some would try to solve this problem by giving you concessions in your responsibilities – giving you less work – but that is unfair in a completely different level. You will then be deprived of opportunities to learn and grow professionally. I am sure this is the situation most women end-up in.

    You are right – the only true solution to this is that “efforts must be put into making the surroundings safer, rather than jailing the girls.” The men should learn to respect women for their individual capabilities, rather than objectify them based on their sex, their appearance, the clothes they wear or anything else. Women should feel safe and respected wherever they walk in society.

    But that is a long way from where society is today. When a woman walks out, she faces terror at the prospect of rape. Safety isn’t even guaranteed in numbers, or in public places. No university can safely guarantee what happens inside its own campus, let alone outside in the city. Whether they want it or not, they are liable for your safety. To make it worse, women’s capabilities are constantly challenged in corporate and social life. She is often treated as a second-class citizen.

    If you were the Dean of your university and you have limited choice – whether to restrict the freedom of the female students, or to give them the freedom and risk having them assaulted outside the campus – what will you do? Imagine you have two children – a boy and a girl. You know that every time they go out they are at risk of getting kidnapped, assaulted, or god knows what. It’s a crazy world out there. And you know that your baby girl is ten times more at risk than your baby boy. You love them both equally – no questions. But won’t you take more steps to protect that girl who is more vulnerable?

    Everyone works with limited capabilities. The parents of students have limited control over how safe they can keep their children. The perfect solution is if all the students make wise decisions and don’t behave impulsively with limited experience in life – and everyone else in society cherishes them as valuable individuals who will bloom into the building blocks of our future society. But until then, they compromise by seeking the protection of the children. They would rather restrict the freedom of their children, than risk loosing them to a worse danger. It is their compromise.

    We have to understand the larger implications of every action we take. I am not completely familiar with the rules and regulations of your university, so I hope you pardon me if I misunderstand some of them or assume something wrong.

    What do you think will be the consequences if all the women in your university are given unrestricted access off-campus? What are the pros and cons?

    Pros: There will be increased participation in extracurricular activities. There will also be greater responsibility instilled in them – some may pick up part time jobs, or engage in projects related to their field of education. Women will learn to face the outside world and fend for themselves from an earlier age. Women will get equal opportunities (at least in this limited aspect). Women will have a better work (or study) -life balance, and this improved quality of life will lead to more mature well adjust citizens of society.

    Cons: It takes time to make the society and environment safe for women. But until then, women are exposed to more danger. There will be a higher crime rate against women. Some women will abuse the freedom to seek illegal forms of entertainment (the legal drinking age in India is 21 in most states, and most college students are under 21). There may be a greater rate of teenage pregnancy. There will be unwanted hecklers, eve-teasers, etc. who will hang-out around the college in hopes of seeing a few pretty women come out of the college gates.

    I’m sure that what I pointed out are only a small part of the pros and cons. If people work together, and with an open mind towards both points of views, there might be a more comprehensive list.

    The duty of the parents and the administration is to balance these pros and cons, the risks and gains. The university administration and the parents are adamant and sticking to what they see as their values. Each side is being blind to the values as seen by the other side.

    Life is all about finding the right balance, making the right compromise. So what is the right compromise here?

    1. A

      Very well said! You seem to be one of the few people who know to look at both sides of the coin. The question you put is apt to the situation. I hope people appreciate this and come up with good answers. I for one think that we would have to adhere to some rules of the society no matter what. We should think before acting and try to get the bigger picture. On a positive note, women in India already have more freedom than they used to have. It is not that India has not made any progress. It will become even better in the coming years with so many people concerned. However, if we take steps like this, it may lead to a situation similar to what you described in the cons section. Mr. Sherlock, can’t wait for your reply 🙂 (its a jest….don’t take it seriously Arvind).

  38. aliya

    I live on campus at a large private university that houses an unnatural amount of foreign students. We ALL have a 12 am curfew, boys and girls. A lot of people live in apartments and crashing at a friends place when it gets too late is not unheard of.

    We also happen to be one of the safest college campuses, near two major cities, and have an outstanding academic record. This place has a LOT of colleges. Each college has it’s own set of clubs and organizations,there’s a lot of inter-collegiate organizations, and then there are the NGO’s with members from not only the medical, but the engineering, architecture, hospitality, and media campuses as well.

    Everyone has their own studies to take care of, personal things to do, and organization responsibilities on top of that. The only way it works is because we either rush around for everything, or end up piling work on the kids who live outside.
    We have a safe campus, a patrol constantly on watch, security guards at every corner.
    The good thing is that the curfews are fair. Boys and girls both have the same one. No discrimination, nope. And that is what makes me proud to go to MU.

    Good luck with your fight!

    1. Anirudh Kidambi

      Sounds like Manipal. Kudos!

  39. Yash M

    To those supporting VIT’s position on the basis that it would mean girls going out at night to have a good time instead of studying, my question is: does it matter? Why does it matter? Why should boys be allowed to be out late, but not girls? The girls in this case wanted to spend the extra time helping out at a non-profit organization helping to educate the poor – a noble cause no doubt. But say they had wanted to go see a late night movie or go to a bar and let their hair down or go out on a date, why should they be restrained when boys from the same institute are not? Why is it okay for boys to “roam around at night” as some commenting here have put it, but not for girls? Remember, these students are over 18 years of age, they are and should be considered as adults – capable of making their own decisions, whether good or bad, and must be held accountable for them as well. If a student doesn’t do well in class because he/she spent all their time “roaming around at night” rather than working hard in the lab/library, it is the student’s fault alone, not that of the institute. And why are parents summoned at every opportunity? These students should be considered mature enough to handle their own problems. In the end, it is the more liberal universities and colleges that produce students better trained for the outside world mainly because they are allowed to think for themselves and after some potential initial setbacks that may come with new-found independence, they learn to take better care of themselves.To use an analogy, when teaching a child how to swim, once he has grasped the basics, we need to throw away the flotation devices and let him experience unassisted swimming on his own.

    As for those criticizing Donotwanttodisclose for his bad spelling, it may be due to a variety of reasons, not having learned English from an early age, for example. This should not count against the argument he makes (no matter how much you disagree with him). Attacking an argument based on poor spelling or grammar is ad hominem in my opinion. Nevertheless, poor spelling and grammar does certainly make one appear uneducated I should add.

  40. Ishwarya.K

    All the best. …… Your doing great

  41. Raghav Sethi

    I applaud you. Thanks for being brave enough to do this. I chose to go to another college in part because I had heard of these terrible regressive policies at VIT. Hopefully more people will speak out or choose different institutions such that the administration starts to see the writing on the wall.

  42. A

    I think people talking to me find the reality of the situation deterring or difficult to accept. If so, maybe you are not mature enough to change the society. Judging from the comments, it will be a tedious task to explain my points to each and every one of you. By all means continue conducting polls….hell lets make a FB page and guess what after it gets 1m+ likes, POOF! Hey Presto, we changed a country! I had hoped some people would give alternate suggestions, but they prefer to comment on other trivial matters rather than use their minds for new ideas. The Youth always has good opinions but lack proper action plans. We find solace in the fact that we are supporting the right thing and blaming the wrong person.
    I hope people give valid arguments rather than undermine the realistic and practical opinions. It wouldn’t hurt to accept the facts as they are. If you have anything to add to that pray share it. Otherwise I got nothing more to say…

    1. Arvind Raghavan

      What have you said so far?

      Society takes time to change. Institutions are unyielding. Liking a FB status is no substitute for actual support. Confrontation must be pragmatic and not reckless –> NO KIDDING, EINSTEIN! I respect your views, but it’s not like you’ve contributed ANY workable alternative except Keep Quiet and Conform.

       “If you have anything to add…pray share it. Otherwise I got nothing more to say.” This about sums up the response to you as well.

      Online campaigns are starting to garner the kind of energy that demands accountability from venal systems (from Kenya to Russia to Andhra Pradesh to LGBT issues in India). The least we could do is lend a hand in strengthening it.

      Stating the obvious challenges is perfectly fine, but the sarcasm, and derision for the courage of someone trying to take a stand, are uncalled for. Same goes for blanket generalizations of “the youth” and its mentality.  

    2. A

      It is good to see that you took the pain of understanding what I have written. Still, you got one thing wrong. I never asked to conform. Is it that hard to understand? I planted the seeds of reality so that people may come up with good ideas. Apart from you how many people have actually said anything new? Most of them are…this is wrong, you have my support…in your words…NO KIDDING EINSTEINS!!!

    3. amy mody

      Your practical, realistic solution is – “Shut up”. And you want society to change. Not gonna happen, uncle.

    4. A

      And I was wondering where is Issac Newton 🙂

  43. Rohon Nag

    Unlike anonymous people here, I wish to speak as who I am.

    If this person DOESN’T stand up for what she believes in, then whats the point of her life ? if people manage to subjugate her and other people like her, then we as people will never change.

    if mahatma gandhi gave up when the british said they wont leave india ? or if mr Tata gave up at the first sign of trouble, (yes industrialists too are a good role model) would we have this country today ?

    and lastly to VITaans who are saying, why do women want to be out after 8, well maybe they don’t. but to be FAIR to all, if they cant be out, the men shouldn’t be out as well… if the same restriction placed on women are placed on the men… how will they react ? gender equality goes both ways. if girls are not allowed to do something, the boys should be either ? or do the boys think they have a god gifted right to be superior ?

    to those boys, I say… Come to the REAL world out of college, where you will probably have a woman as a boos, who you will look down to and get fired. now jobless with a family, you will wonder why your superiority didnt prevail…

    Lastly I left my college education midway in second year (Engg from PIIT – Navi Mumbai) Now I run a production studio, earning decently, I have no boss to answer to and take up project as per my liking. So leaving college mid way is not the end of a life… You see, in real life, your education counts for nothing… talent, hard work and perseverance always prevail…

    1. A

      Hey boos 😛 Congratulations on being successful in life. However, no one says the girl will have a terrible life. In case you didn’t read the discussion is about an alternate strategy that she could have adopted or can adopt. Well, I guess education does count in understanding the topic of discussion and expressing yourself properly. I also think that one does not necessarily need a name and a face to express one’s opinion.

    2. Squishy Giraffe

      wtf man!! Any adult should be able to be out at whatever time he/she wants. Irrespective of gender. It’s not juts an equality issue, it’s an issue of basic rights and human dignity. What next? They will have to take permission of these fossilized professors to eat their lunch? Or will be able to go to the loo only at designated hours? Ridiculous!!

  44. Abhijit sinha

    Hello everybody,
    I find that people here have different views, which is great, as only difference of opinion can result in a discussion. However, I came across certain comments that really worry me. I just want to say one thing, before you make up your mind and decide what a girl/woman should do or not, did you even speak to a girl/woman about this. Did you ask her what she wants?

    This is exactly what we are fighting for. The male ego has not allowed us to think differently. We do what we feel is good for them. But when was it that te women signed a pact giving us the right to make decisions for them. We just snatched that away from them because supposedly only men have enough understanding of what’s good for women. Don’t you think they have a brain of their own and can take decisions for themselves? Did they ever tell you what to do? Where to not go?
    If you really want to help women be safe, at least talk to her. Let her represent herself in the decision making.

    Everyone has a right to speak, whether what’s being spoken is right or wrong. It was not what Spandana asked in her question, she was asked to leave because she dared to question. Imagine, even questioning a policy is not allowed!

    I will conclude with what I started, before commenting, please talk to a young woman and ask what would she like- men taking decisions for her or she doing it herself.

    Thank you.

  45. Squishy Giraffe

    Where on earth is this N&zi camp in 2013? Absolutely deplorable! I will make sure each and every of my friends and relatives know not to apply to VIT to be humiliated and deprived of basic rights. These universities/colleges are trying their best to convert India into a Saudi Arabia just when those guys in the middle-east are getting out of their hell hole.

  46. Spandana Cheruvu

    I am back to college, people!!

    1. vishuv

      Dear Spandana,

      I was about to highlight this case to all companies that I have influence in. Such discrimination is not tolerated/supported in any sane industry which in turn recruits from VITU. But then I saw your happy remark that you are back in college and i did not send it. I feel ashamed at times because of these discrimination and i have never been able to recommend VITU to any of my female juniors back at school for this very reason.

      I have friends in Deloitte, TCS, CTS and all major IT companies and even if this negative publicity does not yield result this year, in due course of time it will. Trust me. I too have no intention of teaching the administrator a lesson or anything like that, but at-least some humane treatment to female students is not a lot to ask for.

    2. Abhijit

      Vishuv,

      Nothing has changed yet. The college policies still remain the same. Girls are still being discriminated against. If you were about to do something, I suggest you do it, cause Change is yet to come.

    3. nitin tripathi

      vishuv
      lets do something together….. i am up for this let me know how and what…. lets do some brain storming and show vit that their oppressive ways wont work any more…… but lets make sure if spandana is ready for it.

    4. Spandana Cheruvu

      Nitin, sure. Why not. 🙂

    5. Rachit Gupta

      Congrats! I was about to draft VIT a letter.

    6. Kumar Pratik

      So the college went back on its decision?

      Anyway, it’s a shame what you had to go through. But, the society we live in, the value of a degree is a lot more than the urge and anger to question the system. We are not there yet, but we are headed in the right direction. Sooner or later, people will realize it. Till then, we need bravehearts, much like yourself, to take the fight to the authorities and lead the others to join the cause.

    7. Kislaya

      How did you get back to college? Were they afraid of the bad publicity or you took legal action?

  47. Vishal Thakur

    You know, you should actually approach the High Court, there would be many senior lawyers and NGOs which might be interested in taking up your cause before the High Court of Madras, which would be the correct body to actually bring to task these stupid administrators.

  48. Trish

    How about not allowing men to go out of the campus, homes, offices, on the streets, shops, buses after dark in order to ensure the safety of women.

  49. Sumant

    Dear Spandana,

    This is a great effort from your end, and it shows that we still have a few people in the society who think with their own brains, don’t follow the imposed rules blindly and have the guts to speak up and stand for what’s right. I am a vit graduate too, and my female friends faced the same problems throughout their time in the college. VIT admin has historically kept a deaf ear for student woes, especially for female students. The worst part is, whenever a spark of change is ignited, just like in your case, the first step is to intimidate the student with the possibility of losing their degree. The common notion is that in our country, people join college for degree and a job, not for ‘learning’. To a small extent, i hate to admit, but that has become the real picture. Thus, I can see what ‘donotwanttodisclose’ is trying to say, maybe for him/her that was the only motive while joining. Others, however, aim for more.

    I strongly recommend standing up for what’s right. The peaceful protest using the survey was a commendable step you had undertaken. It is really disgraceful that people from our society relate a girl asking for same rights as a boy with all the wrong things. As you said rightly, why create a difference then? Make the guys go through the same troubles as the girls, reduce their in-time to 8 on weekdays and 6 on weekends, make them get written permissions from chief warden, proctor and Pope for that matter to get 2 hours of extra time for a social event. Even after that if they can still claim having a global industry ready workforce graduating from their college every year, I’ll b surprised.

    The society needs to support the girls. If cities are not safe, its not the girls fault. You can’t ask a girl to stay indoors to be safe, that is not civilization!
    Not allowing girls and boys to mix and work is as far from sense as they can get. On the contrary, if girls are going out, it might be a better and safer idea to send male friends along, wherever possible.

    Your efforts show that you are learning the most important lesson a college can teach, confrontation and taking a stand for what’s correct. Very few people can do that, and it goes to show that you will do great in life. Good bless you, keep up the good work!

    Sumant

    1. Spandana Cheruvu

      Sumanth, change is coming 🙂

  50. Pramita Ray

    Spandana, great work. The fact that there are women like you who are willing to go against the tide and initiate change in the face of intimidation and harassment shows that we are on the path to change. That so many people are engaging in this conversation and coming out in support of your efforts proves that the tide is turning. More of us young people need to speak up and not be bullied into silence by a system of unquestioning obedience and submission. Solidarity and power to you, we are winning this fight.

    1. Spandana Cheruvu

      Thanks for all the wishes 😉

  51. nitin tripathi

    hi!!
    i have been a victim of similar things in the past.i would love to take the matter further and am very eager to organize an open letter signed my a lot lot of aumnies to the college. we can take this matter to a lot of platforms and force the VIT to change things. i am dropping in my mail id for all. please contact of u or any one wishes to take matter further.i know how disgusting all of this is and i would suggest we take things further…. i am open to suggestion and more such input
    nitin.tripathin@gmail.com
    9695426959

  52. Manipal friends

    Dear Spandana,

    YOU RULE

    I’m a 4th year MIT student. we’re shocked by the behavior of your college management. Soon you’ll have cult status amongst our non-profits. and man am I glad I didn’t choose VIT… even our admins are shocked by VITs clearly retarded behavior.

    It’ll be a cold day in hell before we forgive or forget the idiots who did this to you. I’m sorry your peers didnt raise a fuss. Its what happens when you abuse someone for too long.. they tend to think this is their lot and nothing can be done to change it. they even go into sumthing like a Stockholm syndrome situation.

    we got this article forwarded through our student council group. if they trouble you again, which in due course they will, pls contact our non-profits here and we’ll take this national. or post on youthkiawaaz.com.. we’ll hear of it.. and this time not after the fight. and we’ll get everyone involved… even the hesitant bunch in your college. They want to stand by your side.. they’re just too scared right now. They wont always be.

    and to VIT management, I’m sure you’re tracking this girl. Trying to undermine both her and her efforts. She didnt declare war on you. YOU declared war on her. Unless you want to have the full wrath of a younger, brighter India bear down on you with all the anger and resentment that only youth can muster, I suggest you “BACK THE FUCK OFF”.
    This is a free country and you are ofcourse free to do whatever you want. and we are free to do what we want, including punishing your lot by ANY and EVERY means necessary. Don’t even look at her the wrong way. Don’t make snide comments or embarrass her in class. And maybe you should change the rules like she suggested; you know, as a show of good faith. For all you know non-profits all over India are preparing to downsize the administrative staff at VIT by a large margin. We got rid of our own MIT Director when she didnt respect the memory of one of our own dearly departed. Just imagine what else we’d be willing to do. Now imagine all of India, national media, universities across the board, companies, politicians and everything else you think you have on your side turning around and biting your ball-less sack off.

    We’ll be watching……. and this time I promise you, we wont show up after the fight.

    we love you and pray that girls and guys all over india take inspiration from you. we certainly have.

  53. Manipal Friends

    Dear Spandana,

    YOU RULE

    I’m a 4th year MIT student. we’re shocked by the behaviour of your college management. Soon you’ll have cult status amongst our non-profits. and man am I glad I didnt choose VIT… even our admins are shocked by VITs clearly retarded behavious.

    It’ll be a cold day in hell before we forgive or forget the idiots who did this to you. I’m sorry your peers didnt raise a fuss. Its what happens when you abuse someone for too long.. they tend to think this is their lot and nothing can be done to change it. they even go into sumthing like a stockholm syndrome situation.

    we got this article forwarded through our student council group. if they trouble you again, which in due course they will, pls contact our non-profits here and we’ll take this national. or post on youthkiawaaz.com.. we’ll hear of it.. and this time not after the fight. and we’ll get everyone involved… even the hesitant bunch in your college. They want to stand by your side.. they’re just too scared right now. They wont always be.

    and to VIT management, I’m sure you’re tracking this girl. Trying to undermine both her and her efforts. She didnt declare war on you. YOU declared war on her. Unless you want to have the full wrath of a younger, brighter India bear down on you with all the anger and resentment that only youth can muster, I suggest you “BACK THE FUCK OFF”.
    This is a free country and you are ofcourse free to do whatever you want. and we are free to do what we want, including punishing your lot by ANY and EVERY means necessary. Dont even look at her the wrong way. Dont make snide comments or embarrass her in class. And maybe you should change the rules like she suggested; you know, as a show of good faith. For all you know non-profits all over India are preparing to downsize the administrative staff at VIT by a large margin. We got rid of our own MIT Director when she didnt respect the memory of one of our own dearly departed. Just imagine what else we’d be willing to do. Now imagine all of India, national media, universities across the board, companies, politicians and everything else you think you have on your side turning around and biting your ball-less sacks off. We’ll be watching……. and this time I promise you we wont show up after the fight.

    we love you and pray that girls and guys all over india take inspiration from you. we certainly have.

    1. Spandana Cheruvu

      Thanks manipal friends. Glad to know that I have your support

    2. Rajeev Ranjan

      Will they really come to help you here???

    3. xx

      ask you manipal friends, to check their girls and boys in time mentioned in the hostel rules and regulation……………………

    4. xx

      Ask you Manipal Friends to check their boys and girls in time, written in the rules and regulations of their hostels.

  54. Manipal friends

    lol.. get this.. they’ve named their blocks after nelson mandela and suu kyi… i wonder what suu kyi would think about house arresting these girls in a block named after her…

    sometimes i cant decide if these VIT people are evil and just plain stupid..

    but no.. they’re evil. definitely.

    1. Manipal friends

      *evil OR just plain stupid….

    2. amy mody

      “i wonder what suu kyi would think about house arresting these girls in a block named after her…”

      OMG that’s such a hoot :D!

  55. Rajiv Sethi

    These are deep rooted bias against girls in India. This is what keeps Indian women suppressed and stunts their social, mental and psychological growth. It also has an adverse effect on men in India. Lets be naturally and intuitively equal.

  56. Ila

    There should be legal action against VIT for discrimating against women. It’s one thing to care for safety and another to just purely discriminate.

  57. Manipal Dubai Campus

    Hats off to you !!!! Another long reply wont be suitable here, so we just wanna say…KEEP IT UP !!!!!! YOU ARE BEING HEARD ALL OVER THE WORLD !!!! It is high time that changes are incorporated into the Indian system of approach and you are at the forefront of the battle. Hopefully the university should revert it’s decision before it gets some more bad publicity. LOTS OF LOVE FROM ALL OF US HERE IN DUBAI AND WISH YOU ALL THE BEST !!!!

    1. Manipal Dubai Campus

      Indian system of education**

  58. Apurv

    Dear Spandana,

    First of all, I would like to congratulate you for getting back to the college. I would also like to congratulate you and your family for putting up a strong resistance to the unfair practices adopted by VIT. What they have done is not only unconstitutional, but also demeaning to the Indian women!! While I agree that there should be a strict in-time rules ( because they are there to ensure the safety of the students), I completely agree with you that they should be same and fair for ALL students. The college administration and indeed other organizations or individuals who read this post should understand that every person in India comes under the purview of the SAME law (unlike other countries where laws for men and women are different). Given how our society has degraded and how we are treating our women, India is in need of confident and strong women like you. I wish you all the very best for your future endeavors!!

    Sincerely,
    Apurv

    I would like to take this opportunity to send a message across to all those people who may read this post :

    Dear People,

    People always confuse between ethics and laws and they should understand that though ethics are personal rules, they are not other people’s business. So I urge people not to impose personal opinions or beliefs as rules for all just because you are in position of power.

    Secondly, performing a peaceful protest via any media of communication fits within the legal framework of law. Obviously the person or organization against whom the protest is made has legal right to respond , however not by means of coercion or force of any kind. What VIT did was a sort of mental harassment and this sort of behavior cannot be and should not be accepted in our country.

    Finally we should learn to respect women rights. Indians tend to think of women as a weak gender and naturally to be protected. However people like Spandana show us that women are equally strong and even stronger than many Indian men ( I am sure that many men would have caved in to the college request). It is also a high time for many women to understand that if you are to be considered as an independent individual, you must not consider yourself weak or below anyone in the world. Fight for your rights and the world will surely join you.

    I hope that after reading this, at least some of you (and I hope everyone!!) will change your attitude towards girls and people in general.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Apurv

    1. Abhijit

      Very well written!

  59. Nimesh

    Hi Spandana,

    You are fighting one of those age old battle against “INDIAN TRADITIONS”. The so called traditions where every rule made for females by male chauvinistic mentalities. It is something similar to what they have in terms of all rituals, variety of religious fasting for women which “GOD fearing” people are following since ages. So be assured, there gonna be hurdles as you are not fighting just a VIT regulation but this age old, control freak, dominating attitude. It is the same mentality which sees rape of a lady as a misconduct of the lady herself, the same which thinks male as superior & female to always needing help / support of male to survive.
    Solution of your problem.. well it wont gonna come easily but the path & media chosen by you is the one you should never give up. There is always a resistance to change but Change does happen. The one who takes the baton emerges as winner but faces hardship as well.
    We (I & other people on social networking forums who are geographically not at your location) would be able to support you & your endeavours thru virtual world & hope that this would galvanize appropriate support for you on the ground as well.

    For VIT management, shed your narrow-mindedness as well as fear of losing dominance and embrace this positive change as that’s the way true Indian Culture has survived through ages & progressed. Just ask yourself, how do you want to be remembered, down the line 5 years, 10 years, 15 years .. & times to come; as a regressive, repressive herd or as an institution for nurturing progressive minds? I assure you, if you chose first option, history has enough proof, ruins remain in memory about such society. Choice is yours…

  60. Akshat Seth

    Dear Spandana
    From a recently turned leftist, Red Salute! When I see people like you, hope rekindles. My humble submission is- This is a huge nexus you have taken on, not just the university administration. Behind them are the politicians, the greedy corporates who want to turn education into a commodity and the deeply rooted patriarchal mindset which would have no qualms about bringing the right wing hooligan elements like Sriram Sena at a moment’s notice, and don’t think what I say here is mere political sensationalism. My request is- DON’T LET UP, NOT LIKE SHAHEEN DHADHA OR RINU SRINIVASAN WHO HAD TO BOW DOWN BEFORE THE SHIV SENA GOONS.
    Make your dissent more militant, more aggressive and I hope that you get all the support and all the courage. The problem with this country is that we the youth have stopped feeling angry, and this apathy is what is encouraging these ‘preservers of a tradition that needs to be obliterated from this earth.Many people will express sympathy with you, but all of them at some point will tell you to let it drop. If you don’t feel otherwise on your own and if you have the conviction about your stand- stay strong! raise your voice again! patriarchy down down! Student autonomy long live!
    I know this is more sentimental than logical but wouldn’t we all be dispassionate intellectuals without passion!

  61. Akshat Seth

    I have a similar story to tell you about precisely the same matter, about how we as some students holding a minority view in an institution managed to make the administration loose sleep over its patriarchal step of curbing inter gender interaction and our fortunate escape. If you are interested, let me know on fb.

    1. YouthKiAwaaz

      Kudos to you, Akshat!

    2. Abhijit sinha

      Would love to know about it. You can mail at abhijit@e4d.in

    3. Akshat Seth

      You got it.

  62. triptisharma2012

    hey dear Spandana…

    good to see that you people are working to make this inequality disappear… wish I were there and could help you out…

    I remember shouting at His Excellency Mr. VP… which one was there of the elder duo… don’t remember… but he and Rajini-the great, didn’t allow us to go inside the hostel when it was just 5:50 pm on a Saturday… (i’m talking about the year 2011).
    i shouted at them… since they made us wait for 15 damned minutes and then made us sign in the “late-entry” book… my shouting didn’t help us at all… they remained undeterred… though the VP did try to pacify me with some nonsensical statement…

    i don’t know fully about the top-level administration changes happened recently… but if our chancellor is there, there is not much window of opportunity that he would change those rules… He visited hostel in the first, third and final year of my stay there, just to sugarcoat his rules… and the girls, they can’t help but agree…
    in fact, i remember telling about this to my dad, who was pretty happy with the arrangement; since him being far away, he thought these rules were a good way to safeguard us… a good point from his perspective…

    well, I am still against them, even though i am not there anymore… they caused me endless troubles when I had to go out for the interviews and exams in the final semester…!!!

    good luck with your work dear…

    hope they stop troubling you…

    all the best… 🙂

  63. A

    I hate this anonymous guy….he ruins my points :/

    1. anonymous

      Either you hate or love, You cannot ignore. Spandana might me very happy to see these comments but one day she will realize.
      This is hard truth that after 8pm we not have any urgent work to go out and if it is really urgent college authorities are calling our parents.

      I do not see anything wrong in this and I appreciate that they do this.

      I can see the foolishness of you guys who are comparing Spandana with mahatma Gandhi etc etc but I am 200% sure that when she need to actually fight she will pay the bribe and complete her task.

      Because people like her want comfortable life and enjoy their life and they can do anything for that. She is not fighting for her rights,she is fighting for comfortable life.

    2. bilal

      really man.. think twice before making such absurd comments.. u make no sense at all

  64. A

    Spandana
    Has anything changed yet? Or…are steps being taken to change things? Well I do hope the situation has not been forgotten in the “joy” that you have returned to college. I would hate to be right

    1. Spandana Cheruvu

      Nothing has changed 🙁

    2. Akshat Seth

      No something has…..and that something matters a lot…..Your Perspective. Your experience has helped it develop and that experience can only help you. As for them, well may they realize someday that they are living in the twenty first century.

    3. A

      It is good that you have your degree secured. Getting to know the reality of the 21st century is necessary. We should have a clear image of the situation of this situation…..it is not like some ideal which has failed to materialize. Frankly, this situation is nothing compared to the brutal injustices around the world. India is not the only victim, as many Indians love to think. Even in developed nations, problems like this exist. Many countries are struggling to establish order, a Government. So many unjust wars are happening. Most people will stand up only when these injustices cross their path. Hence, as I predicted, not many people will actually help Spandana. They will express their anger, outrage and then after sometime, carry on their comfortable lives. I was never outraged at this situation as according to me it was not such a serious thing. I prefer to shift focus on bigger issues and arrive at logical, practical solutions.
      I am more of a thinker and less of a doer. I hoped that people of action like you bring about some change so that I can learn, as I have yet to see anyone actually bring about change like this. Carry on and let us know of any improvements.

    4. Akshat Seth

      Dear A
      With reference to your point “……according to me it was not such a serious thing. I prefer to shift focus on bigger issues……” This certainly is a big issue. This is not just an issue of a college denying a girl her rights in the name of ‘Women’s Safety’ . it is also am issue about the patriarchal mindset. The POLICE went on to intimidate the complainants. This is an issue about how the nexus between this tycoons selling education and the politicians. The girl goes to the admin to demand equal rights and her dignity is brought into question (The IIT Bombay example). This is an issue about how the patriarchal mindset operates in terms of patronizing women. This is an issue about growing apathy among the youth to an extent that they can’t even fight for basic rights
      As for bringing change, agreed that it is beyond everyone to organize protests or run online campaigns, but surely that doesn’t mean one can do what one can. For example share the status- maybe someone comes across it and feels angrier than you do and does something substantial. That helps. These little things are as much important to bring change as the big deeds.
      You say you think a lot. If tomorrow you become a professor and effectively communicate your thoughts to the students, that would help. Change is not about playing the Hero, it is about doing what you can.

    5. anonymous

      Der aaye durust aaye… Faltoo ka kaam chhoro aur kaam ki kaam karo..

    6. Akshat Seth

      kya baat kahi bhai anonymous ne, je haigi practicality, hain?

    7. anonymous

      50% comments to yahan impression bane ke liye hi aa rahen hain..

    8. A

      Yaar impression hi bana na hota to shakal aur naam bhi batate na log…..warna ghanta impression…

    9. Akshat Seth

      I second A. Bhai anonymous ye Youth ki Awaz hai, Sanyasiyo ki nahi jo sab moh maya se dooe, detached baithe rahein.

    10. anonymous

      Bhai faltoo ka time waste kar rahe ho aur time pass bi.. Mujhe bhi maloom hai aur tujhe bhi.. Spandana ka bhi placement ho gaya hoga to apna time pass kar rai hai yahan.. Sab log time pass kigiye..

      Mano ya na mano 8pm ke baad koi urgent kaam nai hota.. Agar laro ko flexibility mil rai hai to koi scientist nai ban rahen hain wo log.. Faltoo ka kaam hi kar rahen hain.. Spandana ko bhi wahi karna hai aur college stop kar rai hai..

      Isme kya youth ki aawaj aur kya bhagat singh aur kya mahatma gandhi..

      I will how much she is raising her voice against corrution etc. Jab jarurat paregi she will pay rs 1000 and get her task done..

    11. Jatin

      Spandana, as a junior I am telling you, you are motivation. I have always wanted to bring the same revolution you tried back then, I wish I had been there to see and be a part of it. The university has been putting fear in everyone’s mind and hence the reason why people often take your example as a warning to stop people from voicing out again. I feel suffocated among these people who though excel in various fields but have no courage to stand for the right. I am looking for a way to fight back, by the time way if you are aware of it, a discipline committee has been assigned recently to curb our freedom inside the university as well in the name of “Discipline” while acting as total dictators and conjuring up rules of their own. I feel sick sometimes and this article of yours has reminded me of the agony I had against VIT which had slowly faded away time. I recently wrote a letter to the chancellor asking to balance in time and freedom for the genders, I drpped it in the chancellor’s suggestion box and as warned by many, I had to restrain from disclosing my identity but I think that was just a waste of time and paper. I must make a change here and if there is anything you would like to tell me or help me with, please email me, I am against this I discrimination too.

  65. Neha Jha

    Spandana,
    I am a feminist. But, seriously, I salute you for what u did! This is the situation in most colleges across India and its disgusting! U know, I have faced similar resistance when I questioned my seniors over the dress code they gave us for fresher’s party. They allowed boys to wear jeans while for girls its always traditional. The way my seniors reacted just made me think that perhaps, our generation is also no different from that of the previous one. The herd-mentality exists in us and, probably, will continue. I’m happy to see that there are some amazing guys supporting u. I’d say, you are not alone. There are people like u. Its always a lonely battle for people like us…”Aise raaste pe akele hi chalna padta hai.” But, one day, it will see the light of the day!

  66. Sruthi Jayakumar Supriya

    Dudette… you are awesome! Keep it up.

  67. Monistaf

    I did not study at VIT, but seriously, you are past 18 when you go to college and from a legal standpoint, you are an adult and are responsible for your own personal safety. How can someone prevent you from going out whenever you want? This is completely insane. There has to be a legal recourse to winning that freedom. Alternatively, you could choose to live off campus.

  68. Prachi

    Hi Spandana,

    Bravo! Really you have shown a great courage and done a great job! the scenario is same in almost every college in India and everywhere whenever a girl tries to protest she faces the same attitude. I still remember the incident when a professor of mine scolded me like anything for wearing capris in college and when I retorted she threatened me to kick me out of the college. After hearing your tory I feel optimistic that yes there are girls like me and I am not the only so called ‘Feminist Different stupid girl’ and maybe one day women in our country would be able to live the life we wished to live.

  69. ABCDEFG

    I study in IIIT-Hyderabad. We have no in time-out time, neither for hostels or for campus. But never has the college had any problem due to that. I feel The *discipline* that VIT wants to teach is taught by giving responsibilities and trusting the students, not by enforcing obsolete rules.

  70. ayush

    Dii! You got ur degree or not? Did u come back with your friend?
    Whats the latest development?

  71. Just a First Year dude..

    First thing,
    LOL.
    Look at those comments by the college staff!!! I feel like dying!!

    I really want to help your cause. But there are a few things that i’ll like to point out.. (I’m a Engg. guy, need to make it point-wise xP )

    ****Why the rules are there****
    VIT as we know it, is considered a top notch institution by almost all parents and employers, if not students, owing to its HARDWORKING environment and TIGHT-DISCIPLINE. I believe if this “discipline” fails to exist, this college would lose all its reputation in the eyes of the fore mentioned people.

    ****Why we hate these rules****
    First and foremost-Different rules for men and women.
    Secondly, the comparison of the degree of liberty with our “friend’s” college.
    Thirdly, the illogical extent of these rules.

    ****What we did about this matter****
    NOTHING except cursing these stupid rules among our peers. And yeah, portraying ourselves as a beacon of change by joining those dumb societies and clubs x NGO’s.

    ****What I think should’ve been done****
    I applaud you Spandana for raising your voice. I really do. But only if you had done it the right, “legit” way. I really like the choices and the questions put up in that survey. Cool work done there. But I believe that there was no point making it public. I mean, every damn person in this college knows that these rules and restrictions suck. i believe the in-time used to be 9 for women back then.. now it has been reduced to 8:30 in lieu of being extended. One possible alternative could have been asking for the reduction of in-time for boys-making it equal to the in-time for girls. The male-female ratio over here is like 1:6 or so. Had the in-time for boys been reduced, the real problem would have been faced by the real population, not just the 16% girls. A little regrouping and spreading the word would’ve had helped this a lot. Authorities reacting to 24.000 adults would have had been much different to it reacting to the minority. Or any other thoughtful approach, any other well-studied, brainstormed method would’ve had made the difference. Your move, though bold, failed to help any of us.

    Don’t mind if I’ve said anything wrong or hurting.. I too want it to change. I too want to be treated like an adult. I too want to be deemed responsible enough to carry myself on my own. All I am saying that this could’ve had been more organized, more large, with more people involved.
    We can still make this change happen. Only if we do it the right way.

    P.S. – Sorry for any wrong words and thanks for taking up that initiative. I just saw this thread on facebook, thanks to a friend who shared it. Gotta rush, TEE in 4 hrs xD

    Yours Really,
    Super Boy
    x)

  72. singh

    What you are saying about typical Indian herd mentality is totally correct. People will and dont rise up against things until and unless they see a large group supporting it. What happend with you is probably the best example of it your friends would have definitely been supportive in beginning but when it came to really taking action they must have backed off.
    Its not that students who are still going through this dont detest it its simply about rising up against it, but that won’t happen who is going to bet his or her degree or future for rising against what is wrong.
    The main reason is fear and I’m not saying its wrong on their behalf to fear but you see even if 100 students rise up against it the institution is going to chuck those 100 out simply, for an institution that takes in and takes out around 1000 students per year a loss of 100 is nothing.
    The main factor here is same as what’s happening in our country.
    Why you think the country is so lagging on action taking against crime, that’s because incidents never come to light. Which is what happening here on a small scale.
    There are and must be multitudes of incidents related to this institution which have never come forward. That what basically prevents such things to go on.

  73. Riya

    I have just taken admission at VIT this year and a friend sent me a link of this and this is really making me furious. I have a relative who is an ex student of VIT. She did tell me it was strict, but to this level? When they quote ” Home away from home “, they should be doing something that will make us feel home, not some boarding school where we are just 10 years old.

    I need to know more about this university, is there someone who will be blunt and honest about it here?

    1. jatin

      They will make you feel that being a female is a sin and that women are meant to be caged for these four years. You will feel miserable sometimes because the males will be free to go and come whenever they want (before 9.30) but females will be restricted specially on weekends where you will have to depend on the wardens to approve your outing. You get only 1 leave per month and there also you need some hundred approvals from from your arents and warden before you can step out. You cant go for holidays to Goa, Pondicherry and other cool places with friends unless you lie to them and tell me that you are going home and get your parents lie to them also else they will give simply make your parents worried with self made facts and unsafe history of these places that your parents will lose confidence and will ask you stay in hostel and enjoy there. You only get 4 outings in a month that too with time limits (max 6 hours) and recently they came up with this rule that if you are late, they can cancel your future outings. Oh yes did I tell you? Females freshers are npt allowed outside VIT at all for the first semester and for later you need to get a bond signed by your parents which says that if anything happens to you outside, VIT is not responsible but they will still jail you after the bond because that is just not enough. Its a hell for females. But if you are okay with all that, VIT is a nice place for everything else.

  74. Gyan Akarsh

    The main problem seems to be the lack of support from other students. VIT is a good place to study & most students seek it out when they can’t qualify for IIT’s or other elite institutes.
    I can’t tell about other streams, but for engineering, almost 90% of the students join for the good PLACEMENT stats. They pay, study for 4 years, and get out with a degree & a job. This is the mindset of an average student.

    If they have any confrontation with the governing body, the only thing that comes to their mind is “Speaking up = Losing degree = Losing job” & “Maintaining silence for 4 years = Good degree = Good Job”. That is the driving force for an average student.

    As for the rest 10% active people, who really do care what happens to the society, they are absolutely right. They stand up, speak up, protest, demand & every single thing they do is right. But the big BUT in the situation is that the college didn’t ask for auch students! It simply wants to sell good degrees with good jobs. So we have ‘90% students + College authorities’ aiming for proper placements & jobs while the rest 10% are left alone, no matter how righteous their cause is.

    Actually the 90% are wrong & the 10% are right, but the sad fact is; this is India. Here people come to colleges for getting jobs. And only that matters.

  75. Arasi Vickneaswaran

    Maybe boys should be locked up rather than girls because duh, they are the ones who create trouble. They are the ones who harass and rape girls. How come nobody thought of this before?

    1. Praveen S V

      Oh my God, so you were saying, ‘ All girls are angels’? huh?. It is getting a common practice for some females, (who brand them selves as feminists) to bash as if like all boys are demons and they were angels. When you look at statics, it was told more than 40% of domestic violence is being suffered by men. Com’mon, don’t live the world of fantasy. The culprit is with in the mentality of so called college officials and your parents.Will your parents allow you to roam around the city by mid of the night?…It is dangerous to both gender…..When it comes to educational institutions, you have to follow certain rules and regulations and it doesn’t matter whether you like it or not….If you don’t like certain rules of an educational institution, you can better choose a place where you feel suitable for you…In my college(UG), we guys are not allowed to wear t-shirts, but I love wearing black t-shirts very much. But since it is against the rule of my college, I respect that…I am now studying in NIT, where I was allowed to wear anything and so I do…You may or may not be a feminist, but you should respect the institution’s rule..I am not the one who is against feminism….I always support feminism, but what I am opposing is feminazis, because it is against humanitarianism…

    2. Val Mgtow Venus

      These days gals are worse than boys.They create all sorts of troubles from alcohol abuse,false dowry allegations,rape allegations etc. Please don’t reproduce.

  76. Nisha Thapa

    Its good to see so many people are standing up for such an issue ,this is not only in VIT,there are still many girls out in many places facing such injustice ,but the fact is not all girls are same ,some might misuse the time if given ..

  77. Val Mgtow Venus

    What’s the writer’s problem?As the administrator said,if you don’t like it go else where.You don’t own the uni and if you can’t abide by the rules don’t continue. There are reasons why such times are followed in gal’s hostels. Next time they are allowed to roam free and they go missing,would this hero save them?No they will organize a strike against the uni. So grow up kid.

    1. Anu Gupta

      Please avoid commenting without knowing the full situation. As in 2013, the situation was that during weekdays girls can stay out of the campus for only 6 hours. It was tracked by a biometric system that for how many hours girls have remain outside the campus. On weekend you can go out of the campus either on Saturday or Sunday. If during the weekday you have been out of the campus for more than 6 hours then tou can’t go out on weekend. Additionally, you can take a leave to go some other city only once a month. This becomes a major challenge when you are in 4th year and you want to attend interviews, entrance examinations, paper or poster presentation or even go to Chennai for a passport verification process. This is not a fight to let us ‘roam’ around. Even we are concerned for our safety. This is a fight to let is have equal rights as men so that we can grow further.
      Considering your suggestion to take admission in another college if we have so much problem – VIT is a great university in terms of growth opportunities but rules like these sometimes hinder that which we don’t want. This is just an attempt to make the place a ‘better place to learn and give us a better chance to grow’. I myself have suffered due to this and hence can relate entirely with it.

    2. 091234

      and why exactly do you think they’d go missing Mr. Einstein brain ?

  78. MBA Rendezvous

    Both are equal…so don’t discuss on this topic…bcoz all have equal rights. https://goo.gl/yTkrvr

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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