80 girls from a Haryana school are on a hunger strike. Here's why we need to pay heed to them RIGHT NOW

All these school girls from Haryana want is to study without worrying about their safety.

Dipannita Saha Dipannita Saha May 15, 2017
Their hunger strike has now entered its sixth day. Photo: Facebook/SusamanChowdhury

While the whole world has been fighting for the education rights for women, 80 girls from a Haryana school have quit their studies to sit on a hunger strike. Why you ask? For their safety.

The girls from Gothera Tappa Dahena village in Haryana, whose strike has now entered the sixth day, have only one demand--upgradation of their school. The students claim that they have to walk three kilometres to go to the senior secondary school in Kanwali and they often face harassment and molestation from boys on the way.

The girls, who are in their standard 11 and 12, even appealed to their village sarpanch but to no avail. In an interview to the Hindustan Times sarpanch Suresh Chauhan said, "They face problem related to conveyance and street harassment. They have to walk 3 km to go to school. Men wearing helmets on their bikes molest them regularly and get away as their identities remain concealed."

Despite their resolve to make sure their school is upgraded, the District Education Officer (DEO) has claimed that the girls are being "misled" by their parents and the sarpanch.

"There are certain norms that need to be fulfilled before a school is upgraded. The high school in their village has around 150 students that is too less," DEO Dharamvir Balodia told the daily.

This isn't the first time the issue of safety has caused a problem in girls' education in the district. In fact,  girl students of two villages had stopped their education after a girl was allegedly raped on her way to school in another village.

When contacted, the superintendent of police of the district also told the newspaper that she hadn't received any complaints from the students in this case. However, she has assured the girls that their demands would be discussed with higher authorities.

In our country where girls are anyway not encouraged to continue their studies, it's important that the authorities took cognizance of the girls' demands. Their demands are not illogical at all, all they want is a safe environment to complete their education. After all, the issue of their safety is no matter of joke and the authorities definitely shouldn't treat it as one.

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