Watching men answer the call of nature on the streets of Bengaluru is a far too common sight to sit comfortably with anyone possessing an iota of civic sense. Installing a CCTV camera inside a gents’ lavatory, however, is a move that will make even the most blasé exhibitionist blush. But it hasn’t stopped Teachers Academy PU College (from doing just that.
Male students now have to use the loo in the knowledge that big brother is watching, so students with shy bladders better brace themselves for endless hours of torture.
“I’ve heard of these crazy ideas only in fiction, but I was surprised to see this becoming a reality in my college. This is probably the only college in Benglauru with this weird rule,” said one student, who didn’t want to be named.
Another student said, “This is clearly a violation of one’s privacy. Even in reality shows like Bigg Boss, where the entire house is full of cameras, they don’t have a camera inside the loo. I wonder who watches these images in the control room. This is not CCTV, but SuSu TV.”
The college administration, however, was quick to defend the move. Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, college principal, professor Parameshwarappa DJ, said the cameras were installed to protect “college property”.
“Students were damaging the commodes. This cost us a lot. So, to keep a tab on vandalism, we had to install the cameras to protect the commodes. The urinals were damaged by students,” he says, adding that the only purpose of having the cameras was to identify the miscreants.
The principal added: “We have spent around three to four lakhs to repair the toilets.”
According to the students, however, the cameras were installed for altogether different reasons. “The reason we were given was that cameras had been installed to nab students, especially foreign students, who allegedly use the toilets to smoke weed,” said one student.
“In that case, the authorities should find better means to penalise the students in question, without invading the privacy of all students,” says Mohammed Fahad, a student union leader. “No student raised any opposition to this until now, as they were terrified of the authorities,” said Fahad
There have been a few cases of educational institutes installing CCTV cameras in toilets. In 2013, Jamnagar school in Rajkot landed in hot water after they installed CCTV cameras in the boys’ toilets. Authorities claimed the cameras were installed to prevent students from drawing graffiti on the walls. The principal later claimed that the cameras were non-functional and installed to instill fear in the miscreants.
Earlier this month, a PG student of Mangalore University was caught after he kept a cell phone along with a power bank in the ladies’ toilet.
हिंदी हमारी राष्ट्रभाषा है, और इसका सम्मान हमारा कर्तव्य है।
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