After the #metoo campaign gained pace in Pakistan, it was distressingly revealed that there is not even one institute in the country where this shameful practice doesn’t exist. From the places of highest sanctity, Madrassas, to the places which have no less than a sacred standing religiously and socially, our mainstream educational institutions – it exists.
Far more than the actual existence of this deplorable culture, it is discouraging to see how institutions themselves have turned into enablers and accomplices for it. Schools and colleges – where parents perceive their children to be the safest – have turned into hubs of exploitation of the young.
A bone-chilling incident of similar nature was narrated by a student of Bahria College, who took to social sharing the ordeals of not only herself but about 80 other students as well. Yes, you read it right!
80+ students were inappropriately touched, harassed, given uncomfortable comments all while they were performing their biology practical. Though constantly being discouraged and demotivated by the college administration themselves, one of the brave students blew the whistle.
Following her, other students stepped forward and anonymously verified her experience, saying that it has scarred them for life. Girls said that they were being constantly pressurized that their marks will be deducted. In such an unsupportive environment where teacher herself acted as an accomplice, it was impossible for them to take a stand. Here is what the students had to say:
Not just this, students have also pointed out college’s insensitivity and lack of consideration in matters of similar nature in the past as well.
After the incident, social media community and celebrities expressed their support for the victims, calling the episode unfortunate.
The college, however, has still remained silent on the entire incident despite social media frenzy.
All strength and power to this brave sister for sharing her disgusting and alarming experience. #BahriaCollege kindly take immediate action. We are all watching and we are all waiting! #TimesUp https://t.co/lMdAVm5Csz
— MEESHA SHAFI (@itsmeeshashafi) May 29, 2018
My heart is broken, what happened to childhood ? I’ve studied from the same school & we used to be so safe. #BahriaCollegeIslamabad must take action against #SadatBashir #Timesup https://t.co/Mz55cevYbm
P.s Thankyou @itsmeeshashafi ???? pic.twitter.com/vJ0tDkUgBi
— MAWRA HOCANE (@MawraHocane) May 29, 2018
— Mahira Khan (@TheMahiraKhan) May 29, 2018
Bahria College E-8: 051-2853293
Federal Board Office(will open Wednesday 8am): 051-9269555
I plan on calling and filing a complaint against #SadatBashir It's not something huge if i do it, but even if 30 people from my followers call and complain, it could make a diff
— Ushnaa? (@Lanaschild_) May 29, 2018
Men like #SadatBashir harass women on daily basis but what’s more tragic is that parents have made marks & grades such a do or die thing for children, they prefer staying silent & enduring harassment than to open up because they fear failure & less marks.
— Ayeshay (@champagne_lassi) May 29, 2018
— Myra Zafar (@MyraZafar) May 29, 2018
— XTC ? (@EimranAliKhan) May 29, 2018
What happened in #BahriaCollege is disgusting & the teachers asked the girls to stay quiet just so their marks wouldn't get deducted is worse. The testimonies give goosebumps. Gave exams thru the same edu sys & can't imagine myself going thru it. Raise voice against #SadatBashir
— Esha. ? (@theshabbasi) May 29, 2018
What happened during the practical exam in Bahria College is extremely gross and disgusting, I being an Ex-Bahrian can’t even imagine something like this happening to any of my juniors but I am proud of my them for speaking up against this. #Sadatbashir deserves to be punished!
— Azka Anum (@azka_anum) May 29, 2018
— Mother of Dragons ? (@Zaibyx) May 29, 2018
— Faria ?? ???? (@FariaSalman1) May 29, 2018
However, of course, there are those who always doubt. People have also ‘suspiciously’ evaluated the incident saying why they did nothing at that moment, even knowing that the college was unsupportive and speaking in that discouraging setting, unfortunately, does more harm to the victim than gain.
It is our societal attitude that is under question. If one victim comes forward with harassment experience, we collectively doubt it to be an attention seeking stunt as why that particular person, among all, was harassed?
But now that multiple girls have spoken, verifying it, we are doubting that how are the numbers so staggeringly high and still they did nothing about it.
Only the victim knows what they go through, but the least we can do is to let them speak to secure our workplaces, educational institutes, streets and wherever the curse exists.
What are your views on this? Share with us below.