Days after violence erupted at the campus of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), the varsity’s newly appointed chief proctor Royona Singh has said there should be no restrictions on alcohol and dress for female students. Royona Singh, the first woman chief proctor at the BHU in its 101 years of history, also said that there should be no ban on non-vegetarian food in the messes.
"Putting a dressing restriction on girls would be like imposing it on myself. You start your day at 6am and end at 10.30pm, and if you still can't wear what you feel comfortable in, then it is a shame in this era. I find it strange when boys use the words 'skimpily clad'. If a girl feels comfortable in what she wears, what's their objection?" Singh told Time Of India.
A professor of anatomy at the university's Institute of Medical Sciences, Royona said that the varsity had never imposed any restrictions on women in the past and would not do so in the future, be it in terms of alcohol consumption or how they dress.
"As far as drinking is concerned, all girls here are above 18, why should we even impose such a thought on them?" she asked.
The proctor also regretted the remarks of the security staff and the warden to the molestation victim and her friends. The staff had told the female students that they should not step out of their hostels after 6pm. The molestation incident had led to protests and clashes between BHU students and police, injuring several.
"Girls can move anywhere and at any time. As a chairperson of grievance cell until recently, I have taken up such issues and addressed them to restore the dignity of women. I don't know how the warden said such a thing. We will sensitise guards and wardens on these sensitive topics," said Singh.
She added that she would be introducing a range of stringent measures to keep issues of eve-teasing, rowdyism or display of ostentatious wealth at BHU under check. "We have pillars coming up for CCTV cameras. Big cars and trolleys will not be allowed via thoroughfare.
We have barricading done to ensure bikes don't move fast. We are also cutting branches and twigs on trees to accommodate lights," Singh said. "As far as female issues are concerned, I would be more sensitive. And women would be more comfortable sharing things with a female," she said.