A recent incident at KNC where a chunk of plaster fell from the ceiling, nearly injuring a student standing nearby has raised greater questions about the college’s infrastructure and the administration’s attitude towards such issues.
Recently, Navya Pathania, a second-year Psychology student of Kamala Nehru College (KNC) witnessed a part of the ceiling, on the ground floor of the college, collapse just a few feet away from her. The student claimed that this incident took place in the early hours of the morning when the college was mostly empty. However, upon approaching one of the caretakers nearby, she was told that they’d simply sweep up the fallen plaster.
He said to me at that moment, ‘Haan beta, jhaadu laga denge’, I wonder what would have happened if it fell on top of me – Navya Pathania
The victim was shaken by the incident and the seeming callousness of the adults around her. As recounted, she went to the administrative office afterwards to make them aware of the incident. But after having to wait for twenty minutes, she was disappointed at their inaction.
It felt like an earthquake, I was really scared and couldn’t process what had just happened.
The tales of Kamala Nehru’s poor infrastructure don’t just begin with this, as the college continues to face extreme shortages regarding classrooms, benches, chairs, etc.
A student from first-year Economic Honors raised similar concerns. Having a class size of around 80 students, most classrooms in the college aren’t able to properly fit the entire batch of students. This corroborates with previously covered accounts of students having to spend a large period of class time looking for empty classrooms or enough chairs, having to study on the grounds or open areas during the harsh Delhi summers, giving internal assessments while sitting on the floor or sharing a chair, etc.
Sometimes, a few of us have to sit outside the classroom while attending. It becomes difficult to study as we can’t hear the teacher. – a first-year Economics Honours student at KNC
However, this incident points to not only poor infrastructure but also a larger disregard for student well-being. This can also be seen from recent videos circulating on social media of the flooding of the entrance of the college during heavy rains which led students to have to swing across whilst clutching to the gate.
While Kamala Nehru does have one of the lowest fees for most courses across all of Delhi University’s institutions which may help understand why such issues are being faced, the aforementioned incident and the treatment of the student subsequently highlight not just infrastructural shortcomings, but also a certain degree of apathy surrounding the student welfare.
Featured image source – Navya Pathania
Read also: DU and its Pervading Issue of Inadequate Infrastructure
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