The air at Delhi University (DU) colleges was brimming with excitement as thousands of freshers made their way into campus and off-campus institutions on Wednesday morning. Having overcome all odds and beaten heavy competition, it was now time for the freshers to sit back, make friends and get into college mode.
The new kids on the block were welcomed with orientation and cultural programmes, where the conspicuous presence of parents was difficult to miss. In fact, many accompanied their children right till the end of their first day at college. “I am here to see what my son’s college looks like. Though he was a bit reluctant, he agreed to let me accompany him,” said a mother at Ramjas College.
Other colleges like Moti Lal College and College of Vocational Studies also organised their orientation programmes. All institutions educated students about college guidelines and asked them to speak up if they were either victims or witnesses to ragging.
It was not all about boring lectures and a run through college rules and regulations. The first day at Lady Shri Ram College was all about fun. Like every year, the college organised a tree plantation ceremony. Senior students organised a cultural programme in which they danced to the tunes of Indian classical and western music. The highlight of the programme was students’ take on Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Kya Aap Panchvi Pass se Tez Hai’ called ‘Kya Aap LSR Girls Se Tez Hai’.
LSR media coordinator Kanika Khandelwal said: “It was a spoof of the popular game show. The questions were connected with the college like, which is the popular hangout in the college. What do LSR girls have in their bags?”
Though parents claimed they had not accompanied their children to shield them from ragging, their presence sure helped in keeping seniors away. Those who came alone had a chance to interact with their seniors. Second and third year students in St. Stephen’s, Kirori Mal and Hindu engaged in light-hearted banter and informal conversations with the freshers. “The introduction was harmless and friendly. Most of us were asked to either sing songs or dance. It wasn’t offensive and helped break the ice,” said a St. Stephen’s student.
Things, however, looked a little ugly at Kirori Mal College where the principal slapped a senior. “I slapped him on grounds of indiscipline,” said Principal Bhim Sen Singh.