Singer Chinmayi Sripaada who had been at the forefront of the MeToo movement in India has now taken to Twitter to highlight the pleas of women from the Indian teaching fraternity including professors, teachers and doctoral candidates.
The victims of the harassment which included teachers, professors and trainers as well, took to social media or shared their shocking experiences with Chinmayi, and the behaviour and gesture shown by the offenders in such cases are shocking, to say the least. As per the victims, the offenders even include students as young as a class 6 student.
The thread started with Chinmayi sharing about the originating post on Instagram where a professor in her Instagram stories shared how a student “prank called” her and asked for sexual favours. She added that although she does not respond to prank calls, this one, in particular, was disturbing. “The call made today asking me, their teacher, for sexual favours, is not just insulting to me as their teacher but also as a woman,” the user wrote on Instagram.
The professor later added that the caller even had the audacity to call her from his real number and ask for sexual favours.
It started with this post on Instagram. pic.twitter.com/IK9fRPHhig
— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) August 8, 2021
Chinmayi also added one allegation by a research scholar from Loyola who has shared how a 1st-year student stalked her and that she was afraid that even the management would not support her in case she decided to raise the issue with them.
She also alleged how even the male guides ask for sexual and monetary favour for approving their thesis.
In the next message, a user who was working with a big brand as a nutritionist, shared another instance of harassment by students as young as those in class 6. In the screenshot shared by Chinmayi, she wrote about disgusting comments from class 5 to 8 students when she conducted sessions in schools. “I had to explain about calcium and milk. And there was a group of boys (class eight) telling me, ‘Actually, we don’t have the habit of drinking milk but if you breastfeed us, we can consider.’ I was very angry, yet didn’t know how to react because that was my first job after graduation,” the sender had written. She also revealed incidents of sexual assault from 2015 where she was groped by a class 6 student, who also allegedly forcibly kissed her “thinking it was heroism”.
In the next tweet, a user had shared how her 50 years old mother who is a teacher by profession had received an explicit pic from one of her students and when she raised the issue her colleagues suggested she ignore the matter as “she’s a woman who also has daughters who need to get married”.
Another user shared how her mother’s colleagues were afraid to open their Whatsapp chats as there were unwanted messages from the fathers of the students.
“Female teachers are scared to open WhatsApp or pick calls. They rely on male teachers’ help to get through such phone calls,” the sender shared.
Apart from these tweets, there were also media reports when the countrywide lockdown started, where it was reported how female teachers who were getting familiar with new technology and apps were being harassed by students in the garb of anonymity which was provided by the video conferencing apps. This raises the question of where the younger generation is headed, if teachers are getting objectified and sexually harassed, what is the sole point of such education?
You can read the full thread here
[Note: The allegations shared by users have not been independently verified by The Indian Feed and we are reproducing the whistleblower’s account.]