With innumerable instances of sexual allegations against prominent personalities from the media and film fraternity, including stand up comics, coming to light after the #MeToo Movement gathering momentum, students of the Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication (SCMC) have taken to Twitter and Facebook to share stories of alleged sexual harassment, intimidation and assault on campus.
With more than 10 students sharing their experiences directly or anonymously on social media, pressing the institute to take notice, the institute has sent two open letters to students appealing to the students to come forward, promising them help. Taking cognisance of the harrowing experiences the students had shared on social media, the SCMC in the statement issued, invited the students for a discussion in the institute through a Google form.
“We can start a dialogue without even mentioning your identity. Your one step can go a long way in making someone’s life easier,” it read.
It also apologised to the former students who have accused their seniors and some faculty members of sexual harassment. “Dear alumni, we are indeed sorry, if you had to face something like this. But we promise you that if you reach out to the Internal Complaints Committee, we will take steps and actions if need be,” the statement read.
Vidya Yeravdekar, principal director of Symbiosis Society, and Anupam Siddhartha, director of SCMC Pune, confirmed to The Indian Express, that scores of students have written to the institute sharing their agonising experiences.
Discussing the ‘toxic culture’ in the campus few students in their posts accused director Anupam Siddhartha (mentioning only his initials in most cases) of not taking any action when such complaints were brought to his notice. This has, however, been denied by the Director, saying that he had only received one complaint in 2018 which was being looked into.