80 Haryana girls quit school, sit on hunger strike to protest against molestation

These Haryana girls want govt to upgrade their village high school to senior secondary school as they face harassment on way to their present school.

At least 80 girl students of Gothera Tappa Dahena village in Rewari’s Khol block are not going to school and are sitting on hunger strike since May 10, and are demanding the upgrade of the village high school to senior secondary school. All girls are students of class X and XII, they say that they have to go to school in Kanwali, three kilometres from their village, and have to face harassment from local boys on the way.

The girls said they complained to the sarpanch, who took the matter with authorities, but their issue wasn’t resolved, so they have decided to taken the matter into their own hands.

On May 12, health of four girls deteriorated and they had to be shifted to hospital. According to a Hindustan Times report, Suresh Chauhan, the village sarpanch said that the girls face problems related to conveyance and street harassment.

He said that the girls have to walk 3 kilometres to go to school and men wearing helmets on their bikes molest them regularly and get away as their identities remain concealed.

District education officer (DEO) Dharamvir Balodia claims that the girls are being misled by the sarpanch and their parents. He said that many norms need to be fulfilled before a school is upgraded. The high school in their village has around 150 students and that is too less.

Superintendent of Police, Sangeeta Kalia has also said that she personally had asked the girl students but they didn’t complain about molestation or harassment.

“No complaint was ever made to the police and I have tried to talk to the girls and have assured their demands will be discussed with higher authorities,” said the SP, according to the report.

In 2016, girl students of two villages had stopped going school with similar problem after a girl was allegedly raped on way to school in another village of the same Haryana district.