It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a person wishing to protect their head must be in want of a helmet. Then, it is not surprising that the students of Daulat Ram College (DRC) have taken to wearing helmets inside the college after a part of the ceiling of a classroom fell on a few students. The incident, which took place on Tuesday, left five students injured and several others angry. To protest against the poor infrastructure, students have started the Wear Helmet campaign under which they will roam around inside the college with helmets on their head.
Ask them why a helmet, and pat comes the reply, “taaki hosh na udd jaaye”.
Preeti Joshi, the brain behind the campaign and second year student of the college, says that the idea was to protest innovatively. She adds, “Protests toh Delhi University (DU) ke colleges mein hote rehte hain kisi na kisi cheez pe. Humne socha aisa kya karein ki protest bhi ho aur innovative bhi ho jaaye. By wearing a helmet, we want to register our point that we aren’t safe in our own colleges. Also, if any part of the ceiling were to fall again, at least our heads won’t be injured.”
The campaign, which started on Friday, received immense support from students. So much so, that those who did not have helmets turned up to protest with plates. Sakshi Gupta, a first year student, says: “A lot of us taking part in the protest are hostellers and don’t own helmets. But we want to take part in the protest and follow its norms so we turned up with plates instead.” Gupta, who who hails from Punjab, adds, “Maine itna suna tha DU ke baare mein yaha aane se pehle. Sab kehte the ki DU mein admission mil gaya toh life set ho jayegi. Kabhi nahi socha tha ki aisa hoga ki chat hi gir jayegi sarr pe. Ab toh aisa hai ki helmet lagao, sir bachao.”
When the principal Dr Savita Roy was asked to comment, she said, “I am very busy, I have to handle this mess first.” However, a teacher, not wishing to be named says, “It’s high time the authorities took note of the matter and did something about it. Part of a ceiling on the first floor again fell yesterday, they have locked the classrooms on the floor. Now what will they do if something happens on the ground floor? Lock everything down? Instead of that, shouldn’t they make the infrastructure better?”
This is not the first time that the college has drawn flak for its poor infrastructure. Prior to this, students were protesting against the lack of toilets in the college. Nishita Narwal, a final year student, says, “We’re 4,000 students and there’s only one washroom for us in the whole college. Pehle teen the, then they demolished two. As if that wasn’t enough, ab ye ho gaya hai. Badi cool si feeling aa rahi hai helmets pehen ke protest karne mein. We’re like warriors with our helmets on, fighting for our cause.”
Watch the video here: