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No defying the curfew

Despite protests from students, authorities are firm on maintaining curfew hours for the sake of safety

education Updated: Feb 28, 2012 10:41 IST
Garima Upadhyay

Nikita Goel, a student of Hans Raj College is upset because she missed out on the festival frenzy at Delhi University (DU) this year. “Most of my friends did not attend the Rock Nights and Battle of Bands (events) scheduled in the evenings. The hostellers did not get permission from the warden and since my friends were not coming along, we dropped the plan,” she says.

This is not a one-off case. According to most hostellers, “evening plans are dropped often”. DU student Ruchi Dayal says, “Since I knew about the curfew hours of hostels in Delhi, I opted for a PG (paying guest) accommodation instead. But even there, timings had to be adhered to. We had to be back by 9.30pm but taking night outs was slightly easier. That was how I managed to participate in many seminars and workshops.”

While students might have their reasons for liking or disliking the curfew hours, college authorities continue to underline the importance of abiding by rules, primarily for students’ safety. Kasturi Kanthan, warden at Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR) that houses close to 300 outstation students, says, “By setting a certain time (9.30pm), we just try to be a little cautious and I think that the limit is reasonable. With so many (untoward) instances happening every now and then, we are a little worried about the safety of girls at night and our students understand that. Also, curfew hours are not just a hostel phenomenon, I am sure
that even at home they are followed.”

“We are quite firm with our hostel timings (9pm), since it is in favour of safety of our students,” says Ranbir Singh, vice-chancellor, National Law University (NLU), Delhi. “The facts that the university is located away from the main city and we are a residential institute make it important for students to be back in the campus at night.”

NLU students agree, with one of them, Naman Mohnot, adding, “The timings are very justified and quite balanced. It is anyway not safe to be out in Dwarka late at night.”

While some students might not feel the need for flexible timings, Bhanu Verma, a final-year student at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, has a different viewpoint.

“There are times when you do not manage to get a night out even when you have a valid reason. As 22-year-olds, most of us understand the risks and, therefore, the authsorities should understand,” he says.