Sexist rules stifle girls at B J Medical College, Pune

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Pune – In an unprecedented move by the Dean of the 70 year old government institution, girl students have been banned from studying in the college library post midnight.

However rules for male students have not been changed and they can study in the library whole night.

The young women doctors countered this decision saying when there is no discrimination when it comes to duty at the hospital, why there should be discrimination in studying at library.

The post graduate (resident) and girls doing internship are the ones who have been hit by this Tughlaqi farman of the Dean Ajay Chandanwale.

The college which offers undergraduate MBBS course and post graduate MD and MS courses, has majority female students (60 percent girls). Hence the dean’s decision has come as a major jolt for them.

The central library with over 15,000 books has 24 hours reading facility. Many girls like to study in the library as there is peace at night and also because they do not want to disturb their roommates who are early risers.

“I like to study till late night in the library as there is no noise unlike day time when it is crowded”, a girl student said.

Another one added, “If boys can be allowed to study whole night, why not girls. It is open discrimination against female students who are in majority here.”

The students said that BJMC Dean Ajay Chandanwale took the decision in the last week of October and since then girls are not been allowed to sit in the library and study after 12 in the post.

“As soon as it turns 11 at night, the guards force us out of the library” remarked the students.

The girls are worried about post graduate entrance exam (NEET) scheduled in December this year.

“We buy only most important books and get remaining from the college library. The entrance exam will decide where we will get to study post graduation” said an intern doctor.

Most of the girls stay in hostel near the Police commissioner’s office about 500 meters away, while some stay in the BJMC and Sassoon hospital campus. The post graduate students, who are the resident doctors, have their quarters on the hospital premises. If a girl student has to go to her hostel from the college, she has walk about 80 meters on the public road between the hospital, i.e. the stretch outside the district collector’s office, and pass through boys’ hostel and again cross a 10 feet road to get into their hostel adjacent to the social welfare department office.

Dean Chandanwale said that the decision to impose midnight ban for girls was taken ‘keeping in mind their security’.

Curfew hours

Girls alleged that the recent diktat is another feather in the sexist rules being enforced at the college known for producing some of the  eminent medical professionals in the country.

Girls have to return to their hostels before 9.30 pm. Earlier the deadline was 10 pm but after the 2012 Nirbhaya rape case in Delhi, the in time was reduced to 9 pm. After the girls protested, the in time was made 9.30 pm.

However the boys do not have such restrictions and they can come anytime.

The college Dean explained that they will make in time for boys also.

Girls can’t go on the terrace

Few years back girls were banned from going on the terrace of their hostels as some boys from hostel of the social welfare department allegedly passed lewd comments to harass them.

“The authorities could have blocked the view between the two hostels why only we should be banned everytime” said girls from the hostel.