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Action without rallies

india Updated: Jan 04, 2009 02:27 IST
Snehal Rebello
Snehal Rebello
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

They have moved away from candlelight marches and peace rallies.

More than one month after the terror attacks, college students want to get involved in “meaningful” work. They are either taking up various initiatives to help victims cope with terror or equip their counterparts to cope with crisis situations.

For the last few days, Fatima Pitalwala has been visiting two injured people at the JJ Hospital. The political science student from St Xavier’s College wants to raise funds for the duo and help them rehabilitate. “They don’t seem to have families since no one has visited them yet. So I have been talking to my friends hoping that the word spreads among their parents and relatives. That’s how I can raise funds. I want to personally make a difference,” said Pitalwala.

While college students across the city assembled at Shivaji Park on December 20 to express solidarity to martyrs who died in the terror attack, students at Indian Institute of Technology — Bombay (IIT-B) think otherwise.

“Though we were to organise a peace rally, we eventually decided against it. Candlelight marches are a namesake activity. Instead, coming up with intelligent solutions to tackle terror is more meaningful,” said Sajit Shariff, general secretary for cultural affairs at IIT-B.

So IIT-B students have been given one month to work on their projects and come up with innovative solutions to tackle terrorism. For instance, installing image recognition software at stations that can recognise faces when placed with faces of criminals. Said Shariff: “We will provide scientific ways of coming up with ideas. The final document will be handed over to the governor.”

And it’s fire drills, first aid drills and civil defence courses for 6,000 students at Churchgate’s HR College this month. From tying up with the fire department to getting the college’s fire audit done, students are doing it all to be better equipped in crisis situations. While the fire drills will teach students how to react during a fire and evacuate, the first aid drills will coach them to react in emergency situations. “After the attacks, we figured the best thing to do as a citizen is to be aware, react and help others,” said Ashwin Bhatia, joint secretary of the Students Council.