Pune Colleges to set up 'Nirbhaya' teams to create awareness

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Times of India: Inspector general (prisons) Meeran Chadha Borwankar on Friday said that students’ groups formed to prevent attacks on women should be sustained as similar groups formed earlier with much enthusiasm had soon become defunct.

Borwankar was speaking at the launch of ‘Nirbhaya Pathaks’, an initiative of city-based organizations, Sarhad and Vande Mataram. Each ‘pathak’ would be a 10-member strong team, comprising both boy and girl students of colleges. Once these teams are formed, awareness programmes and training sessions will be held by the police department.

Addressing the gathering Borwankar said, “There have been various initiatives made by the state as well as the police department to establish a communication channel between the society and the police. Unfortunately, some of the initiatives became defunct while members of other initiatives such as Pune Police Vidyarthi Abhiyan, Mahila Dakshata Pathak, Citizen Committee have the same set of people. Such a monopoly is not good for the society.”

Sanjay Nahar, founder of Sarhad, said, “The members of the Nirbhaya groups will be made aware of various rights, legal support and some preventive measures. Besides officers from police department, former police and military officers will be invited to discuss various issues with the Nirbhaya groups. We will also train the group members in self-defence and give some basic legal education.”


“We have had two meetings earlier to discuss the concept before it was decided to launch Nirbhaya groups in the city. Some 20 colleges have expressed willingness to join the initiative and form such groups”, he said.

Borwankar emphasized on the need for participation of young members in such initiatives. She pointed out that many members of Mahila Dakshata committee were aged over 40 to 50 years and very few were in the 20-30 age group. “We must have more young members in such committees as they are closer to the youths. It is also necessary to go beyond awareness programmes and discussions and there is a need to take some action that would bring some change in the society,” she said.

N S Umrani principal of Abasaheb Garware College and Dattatreya Temghare former police inspector were present at the event.

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