Speaking out in anger: empower students, don’t ban jeans


Kanpur: Why don’t colleges focus on training women in martial arts and empower them to counter harassment instead of banning jeans, asked an outraged student Thursday as criticism against the decision by four colleges here to prohibit western outfits gathered force.

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With the avowed intention of stemming harassment, the Acharya Narendra Deo College, Dayanand Girls Degree College, Sen Balika College and Johari Devi Degree College in this Uttar Pradesh city have banned students from wearing jeans, tight tops, sleeveless blouses and tight-fitting clothes on the campus.

Tulika Saxena, a B.Sc student of Dayanand College, suggested that the colleges can offer “martial arts training programmes” for girl students so that they can defend themselves.

“It would be much better if the college authorities sit down with police and other officials to formulate a strategy to check the menace,” Saxena said.

Neelam Chaturvedi, who works with women’s rights group Sakhi Kendra, added: “The move by the colleges is totally irrational.”

“It appears that college authorities feel that eve-teasers only target girls wearing jeans. I can narrate umpteen incidents in which boys misbehaved with girls wearing salwar kameez,” Chaturvedi told IANS.

Terming the decision by the college authorities “illogical”, Deepshikha Dubey, a second year graduate student of the Dayanand college, said: “Jeans are the most common outfit worn by college students, particularly because unlike other clothes you need not wash it after every use.”

Stating that the decision cannot be justified under any circumstance, she said most college students who come from other parts of the state and stay away from their homes prefer wearing jeans and T-shirts as they don’t have to bother about their maintenance.

Furious at the decision, many students said if the college authorities were so serious about checking harassment of its students they should have taken help from police and other security authorities.