"We plan to deploy private security guards from government-approved agencies in the primary schools by next academic session after several cases of molestation came to our notice," Manish Gupta, commissioner of south Delhi corporation said.
The guards would be deployed at the 548 primary schools — till Class 6 — in the areas under south Delhi corporation. The girls are between the ages of 5-13 and too young to tackle criminals. "The deployment will be done in phases, and will cover every school under the SDMC area. The yearly cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 1 crore," he added.
According to Gupta, several complaints were received from the parents regarding rising incidents of molestation outside the school. Due to this, many parents stopped sending their children to the school. We are taking this step in order to draw the girl students back, he added.
"Men loiter outside the schools and try to molest and harass girls... some even follow them...," said the mother of a 12-year-old girl who lives in Khanpur. If the project is successful, it would be replicated in the schools falling under the other 3 municipal corporations, the official added.
"The security guards will be hired from private security agencies on contract basis and they will keep an eye on the girls entering and leaving the school. If required, they will also escort the girls to their houses," added Gupta.
Satish Upadhyay, chairperson of the SDMC's education committee, welcomed the move. "We want to ensure fool proof security for the girl students. The security guards will be hired from government approved security agencies," Upadhyay said.