Mumbai: Resume the canteens, even if it's male staffed say IIT Bombay students amid Peeping Tom row

The residents of IIT Bombay are now reportedly voting on whether they prefer an all-male, all-female, or a co-ed staff through an online form.

Aditi AlurkarUpdated: Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 02:23 PM IST
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IIT Bombay |

Mumbai: IIT Powai has indefinitely closed down a night canteen attached to a girls' hostel building after a staff worker was arrested for peeping on women in the bathroom. One week after the incident, hostel residents still remain discontent with corrective measures employed by the administration.

The Institute remains firm on hiring an all-women staff before reopening the night canteen, however many students opposed this move and are now going ahead with a democratic vote. “In a meeting with hostel inmates, our associate dean has verbally taken back the ‘all women’ clause for reopening the canteen,” said a student to The Free Press Journal. The residents are now reportedly voting on whether they prefer an all-male, all-female, or a co-ed staff through an online form.

Instead of shutting it down, hostel-ites are largely demanding for a security guard to be positioned at the entrance of the canteen, regardless of which gender runs it. “The person who shot videos of the girls' bathroom at the recent controversial video Chandigarh University was a female herself. Changing the staff gender or adding more cameras won’t do any good,” said a student resident. Students did not want to be named. The arrested worker also had access to the building to use the common washroom, added the student.

Though all the 18 hostel buildings have a mess attached to them, the night canteens are only found in some. Research students, who often finish their laboratory hours late at night, frequent these canteens that run from noon till after midnight. “I get done at my lab by 2 am and rely on the canteen for dinner. This particular night canteen was the closest for many research students and shutting it indefinitely is not a helpful solution,” said a female research student.

The decision of reopening the night cafeteria remains with the hostel council of the building in question. As of now, it remains firm on manning it only with female staff.

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