CHENNAI: IIT Madras was heavily trolled on social media on Tuesday for shaming and fining one of its students for using condoms in his hostel room inside the campus.
Following Express report on IIT Madras hostel notice board putting-up details of a student's 'used condoms' and charging Rs 5,000 as fine, which went viral, netizens came out in support of the student for doing the right thing.
As per the hostel rules and regulations prescribed in Office of Hostel Management (OHM), use of condoms is not prohibited. However, there is an 'unofficial' ban imposed by hostel offices and the vigilance staff often conduct surprise checks in men's hostels looking for condoms, students rued.
A female student said though OHM permits girl students of IIT Madras to visit the rooms of boy's student for 'academic' purpose till 9 pm, vigilance staff barge-in and make uncomfortable remarks. "Recently, a girl went to a boy's room just slept-off for some time and boy was working on his laptop when vigilance staff visited. They called the girls' parents and complained. The incident has shattered the girl."
Meanwhile, the institute continues to be in denial that no such details of the student were put on the notice board. But, the students have shared more evidence with Express and said the details were put out last week and removed only on Monday. The letter is undersigned by Brahmaputra hostel warden. A vigilance staff A Baskaran was the one who raised the complaint against the student.
Healthcare experts argue that India has spent millions of rupees over a 20-year period through NACO – National AIDS control Program aimed also at Condom Promotion and reducing newer STI/HIV infections - this banning condom and naming and shaming students, who might have used condoms for multiple reasons, appears totally to be the opposite.
Dr V Sam Prasad, Country Program Director at AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), said: “The HIV programs all over the world demonstrate that condom programming does not cause individuals to have Sex - but do reduce rates of STIs, unwanted pregnancies and abortions. While a lack of access to condoms might lead students to employ other approaches to reduce the risk of pregnancy, Condoms remain the best available option to prevent STIs/HIV, outside of abstinence,” he said and added that AHF offers to install condom kiosks in campuses or hostels.
Experts say the challenge is to bring down the stigma associated with condoms and promote its use and choose “healthy options above fake morality rants”.
Another student fined Rs 13,000
Brahmaputra hostel office has slapped a whopping Rs 13,000 as fine for having two unauthorised guests in room, besides having whisky and cigarettes in his room.
Students say there is no standard fine. "It all goes by whims and fancies by hostel warden. Alcohol and cigarettes would attract a minimum fine of Rs 8,000 and can go up to Rs 20,000. Our hostel fees for one semester is around Rs 20,000!".