Today’s news is that three boys passed away after getting drowned in the river Kharkhai behind the college I studied. I am seriously at a loss to identify who is to blame here. That river is out of bound for the students. We as students went, these people went and if there are no restrictions, students will go in future, inviting fatalities. If this is a one time thing which happened, we can blame the rule breakers. But if this is a sort of routine activity, who is to blame here?
One of my classmates was saved from drowning, there were other cases as well.
And again, this spate of mishaps is not restricted to the river. Two years ago, two of the students were electocuted to death in the college fountain. That fountain never used to work in our times. It is in a ten feet platform, grilled and padlocked. And it sits before the main entrance of the college. Where is the security? When I was in college, a student was hit from the back. He had a ten percent chance of survival and because of that, students came onto roads. The college was closed sine die for a month because of that when the confrontation between the villagers and the students came to the level of poisoned arrows. No one was apprehended. The director resigned because of this and we didn’t have a director for a year after this because of the notoreity of the college. This problem arose because the college is used as a throughfare for the surrounding villages and is only a problem because the alternate provided for this by the municipality cannot be termed as road and no one was ready to use it. A few months later, when the Dean of Student Affairs and the college resident doctor were strolling in the campus, the doctor was killed in a hit and run case. If the staff themselves have no security, who is to think of the security? Compouned to this, there are a spate of thefts with no one being caught, girls hostels being a free for all if you have a slight muscle and what not. There were days in my college when I used to fear for the security of the girls in the hostel.
Not a single person is to blame here. It’s a colossal institutional failure. Students are not responsible, they don’t care about the rules and follow in any vice that suits them, hostel wardens aren’t responsible for the behaviour of their wards, college management is not responsible by not providing the amenities and even the local governance is not behaving responsibly. For them, it’s the locals who vote and let the college go to hell. Compounded to this, we have got a belligerent neoghbourhood, who were forced to be very backward and downtrodden, forcing them to remove the value of life from their definitions. I haven’t got a clue how this is going to change. This is the story of a single college in India. I don’t know how many such colleges exist and the problems they face. Staying this far, the only thing I can do from here is pray for the good and pray for a positive change.

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