HIMMAT: A Student Run Initiative to Create Safe Spaces in Colleges

What is HIMMAT?

HIMMAT spreads awareness through their easy to access website www.safecollegespace.com which contains information required to consider/ pursue an IC complaint.

Information on how to file a complaint, tips on submitting evidence, recourse available to a survivor and much more is available along with free resources like draft complaints.

They have also recently launched a free consultancy to answer individual queries regarding considering/pursuing an IC proceeding.

This service connects survivors with experienced Consultants (advocates, lawyers, trained members of Internal Committees and the like) by simply filling up a google form provided on their Website in the ‘Need Help’? Section. 

It is open to all students and can be availed anonymously in order to remove any fear for seeking help. Anonymous communication between Himmat and the survivor can take place by either using a friend’s email id, proton mail or ‘Wire’ App.

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HIMMAT strictly maintains confidentiality and privacy of the user of their service. They have a team of around 15 Consultants as of now from all over the country.

 

Who is HIMMAT?

HIMMAT is a student run initiative to equip survivors of sexual harassment with the support and knowledge required to tackle Internal Committee (IC) proceedings in colleges and universities.

It has been co-founded by Megha Rana Ray and Sreeja Sengupta, fourth year students at NUJS.

HIMMAT’s team comprises NUJS students and alumni and they also have a volunteer-based research team for preparing resource materials to spread awareness. Their esteemed Board of Advisors consists of Ms. Veena Gowda, Ms. Sonal Mattoo, Mr. Jawahar Raja and Mr. Adit Pujari.

 

Why is it needed?

Going through the process of an Internal Committee (IC) proceeding, especially as a student, can be extremely tough. Across colleges, survivors are not aware of information required to tackle such a proceeding and thus, it can be overwhelming to read up on such information amidst the trauma.

This contributes to an environment where survivors feel afraid of reporting cases of sexual harassment which leads to colleges becoming increasingly unsafe. Therefore, there is an urgent need to hold institutions accountable for the safety and security of their students. 

HIMMAT steps in to empower students to make an informed choice about possible course of action. This will contribute to increasing accountability of college administrations by providing students with the agency to call out inaction.

 

What next?

HIMMAT is in the process of curating an ‘Expert Talk’ section on their website in the form of interviews. They are interviewing persons with experience such as litigators, trained members and activists with questions on various procedural and substantive issues which are currently being debated as well as matters like intersectionality and inclusivity within ICs. 

In pursuance of bringing important conversations regarding institutional proceedings to the forefront, Himmat recently conducted a webinar in association with the NUJS Online Lecture Series regarding safe virtual spaces and best practices for conducting IC proceedings during the Pandemic which can be found here.

Himmat’s objective is to mobilize professionals and organizations with experienced in the field to lend their expertise to students in order to make justice more accessible. 

 

Contact/Collaborate with HIMMAT

If you have any questions about the way we function or would like to get in touch with us or collaborate, you can reach out to us on himmat(at)safecollegespace.com or find us on Instagram at @teamhimmat.

 

To find out more about HIMMAT, visit their website.

 

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