Students of the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS), Kolkata recently launched an initiative that aims to equip survivors of sexual harassment with the support required to tackle Internal Committee (IC) proceedings in universities.
The objective behind the initiative is to increase awareness of anti-sexual harassment laws and also to provide legal assistance to survivors.
Coined ‘Himmat’ which translates to ‘Courage’, the platform provides pro bono legal assistance by connecting survivors to experienced lawyers in the field to answer any queries that they may have. They also spread awareness through their website which contains information on how to pursue an IC complaint, how to file a complaint, tips on submitting evidence, recourse available to a survivor etc. The website also contains free resources like draft complaints.
The team has also authored an easy-to-use handbook on the UGC (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal of Sexual Harassment of Women Employees and Students in Higher Educational Institutions) Regulations 2015. The handbook has been authored by Himmat’s research wing, which comprises students from NUJS and National Law School of India University (NLSIU). It can be accessed here.
The handbook provides a clear overview of the legal framework and redressal mechanisms available to college-going students in a clear and simple manner and is supported by necessary case laws. It is a comprehensive guide made to acquaint college-going students on the anti-sexual harassment laws applicable to them.
The team is headed by Megha Rana and Sreeja Sengupta. Aparimita Pratap and Gatha GN as legal advisors; Aaryan Mithal and Snigdha Nittala as consultants; Khushi Joshi who handles public relations; Tanishk Goyal who heads the research wing; and Prajjwal Khushwaha and Ayushi Thakur as outreach co-ordinators.