Students of the Delhi School of Economics have had enough of the smoking menace. Earlier this year, HT City reported that a survey ranked D-School number one among places in Delhi University, where students prefer smoking.
“We read the story in HT City and were really upset about the reputation of our college. It was high time we took some action,” says Archit Jalan, vice president of the Rotaract Club, an anti-smoking initiative started by the Department of Commerce.
On Tuesday, in North Campus, 50 students dressed in black and holding anti-smoking posters, marched around the campus. This was followed by a street play on the topic by Abhinay, the dramatics society of Maharaja Agrasen College in front of Jaypee Tea Stall — a popular smoking hub. “We wanted to tell the students that we are not okay with being tagged as the smoking zone of the varsity,” says Shitesh Chandra Jha, president of the club. “We will also be conducting surprise checks and raids around campus,” says Mayank Trivedi, secretary. Will anything change?
Ironically, even as the play was on, we spotted several students smoking nearby. Despite the strict action that authorities plan to take, students say nothing will change. “Things become strict for only a day or two after the security checks,” says Aamir Baig, a second year student.
Some feel the rule is unnecessary. “Who says it’s against the law? If teachers can smoke on campus, why can’t we?” asks Shankul Prakash, a second year student from Kirori Mal College. A female student with Prakash, who refused to tell her name, added, “We’re here all day, so those who smoke would do it here only. Besides it’s our personal choice to smoke or not.”