HIMMAT Initiative: Empowering Survivors of Sexual Harassment

HIMMAT is a student run initiative to equip survivors of sexual harassment with the support and knowledge required to tackle institutional proceedings in colleges and universities co-founded by Megha Rana Ray and Sreeja Sengupta, fourth year students at NUJS.

Going through the process of an Internal Committee (IC) proceeding, especially as a student, can be extremely daunting.Survivors are not aware of information required to tackle such a proceeding and thus, it can be intimidating and overwhelming to read up on such information amidst the trauma. This contributes to an environment where survivors feel apprehensive of reporting cases of sexual harassment which adds to colleges becoming increasingly unsafe.

Himmat spreads awareness through their website  which contains information required to consider or file and pursue an IC complaint, such as how to file a complaint, tips on submitting evidence, rights and recourse available to a survivor and much more.

They have also recently launched a free consultancy service 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 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 backlash for seeking help. Anonymous correspondence between Himmat and the survivor can take place by either using a friend’s email id, proton mail or ‘Wire’ App. Himmat strictly maintains confidentiality and privacy of the user of their service. They have a team of around 15 Consultants as of now and their board of Advisors comprise Ms. Veena Gowda, Ms. Sonal Mattoo, Mr. Jawahar Raja and Mr. Adit Pujari.

Himmat is also in the process of developing a resource book for university students to spread awareness and simplify the procedure involved in IC proceedings. They had conducted a Webinar last month regarding best practices for conducting of IC proceedings during the Pandemic which can be found here.

They can be reached at himmat@safecollegespace.com

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