Heartbreak and heartache are no longer restricted to the unspoken underbelly of student life, with college authorities increasingly seeking to address adolescent issues in a formal and structured manner.
What was previously the preserve of one-on-one discussions or counselling sessions is now being openly discussed by college authorities with students through different platforms. This had been picking up even before the Chetana College incident that took place last week.
At MD College in Parel, a seminar on "love and relationships" in September sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) featured an array of issues including perspectives on marriage and live-in ties, cinematic love and relationship problems.
In January, St Andrew’s College in Bandra will be conducting a UGC-sponsored seminar on concerns in adolescent well-being touching on relationship issues, addictions and substance abuse. The seminar, which will be organised by the psychology department, will feature research papers as well as a panel discussion.
At Khalsa College in Matunga, a BMM professor and a group of students launched an online portal a few months ago to help students deal with failed relationships. They are now aiming to hire a full-time psychologist to man the site and respond to students’ posts and emails. The group has also performed skits at different city colleges.
A group of college students in Navi Mumbai even wrote a research paper for an assignment in 2010 based on fieldwork on how much relationships and dating mattered to students.
This focussed, even semi-academic approach towards adolescent issues has unfolded in the past one year or so, but since the recent Chetana College incident where a student stabbed a classmate allegedly over a failed relationship, colleges are also thinking of practical measures for the future.