There are many factors that contribute to making the environment of an educational institute conducive to learning. An important and essential one among these is ensuring student safety and security at all times, the responsibility of which falls on the college administration. Lately however, it seems like a few colleges at Delhi University have become lax in this regard. New construction, renovation and decrepit existing infrastructure (that is literally falling apart), pose a deadly threat to students. We bring to you two accounts from campus that highlight this sorry state of affairs.
HANS RAJ COLLEGE
Walking into college feels like walking into a factory site. Students are welcomed by behemoth construction taking place beside the canteen and near the main block. Initially, the former appeared to be nothing more than an eyesore. Soon however, it turned into a life threat, as debris from the site began plummeting down on students who dared to venture into the canteen area. Imagine feeling like Chicken Little in every single moment you spend at college! It is rather depressing to know that the most beloved and popular space in college – The Lover’s Point – is now also the most lethal and comes with a muted ‘enter at your own peril’ warning. The construction taking place near the main block is problematic because of the sounds emanating from the drilling, breaking, and building activity. The cacophony disrupts teaching and sometimes, splinters and tiny rocks fly into the classroom itself, injuring nonchalant students.
DAULAT RAM COLLEGE
Daulat Ram College has recently made headlines for its inadequate infrastructure, to the point of social media being flooded with memes about students wearing helmets to class. On 30 August 2016, a chunk of cement and plaster fell from the ceiling during a lecture in Room 105, injuring five students. Students had protested a mere couple weeks prior to this event, demanding timely renovation and proper sanitation in the college. In the aftermath of this event however, both students and teachers have taken a more hardline stance and boycotted classes until their demands for safe classrooms are met. The teachers’ association of the college has drafted a resolution stating the same. Police and media infiltrated the college on the day of the event, and emergency meetings were called between the Principal and the governing body. The students went as far as to involve the Vice-Chancellor of DU in the proceedings. An interactive session between administrative authorities, students, teachers, and parents has also been scheduled. We have yet to see whether this will be enough to finally propel the authorities to action.
At the end of the day, all students have the same complaint: if only the college had been wiser and undertaken all construction work during the long summer break, students would have not just reaped the benefits of improved infrastructure, but also dodged (pun intended) the menacing consequences of infrastructural development.