Noida institutes extend a helping hand to anxious African students
Greater Noida has been in turmoil over the past five days following alleged racial attacks on Africans. The sequence of attacks had been triggered off by the death of a 17-year-old school student from suspected drug overdose.Updated: Mar 31, 2017 23:26 IST
At a time Africans living in Greater Noida are a harried lot in the wake of the recent spiral in attacks on them, the universities and colleges they are enrolled in have undertaken an initiative to lend a helping hand and make them feel at home.
Greater Noida has been in turmoil over the past five days following alleged racial attacks on Africans. The sequence of attacks had been triggered off by the death of a 17-year-old school student from suspected drug overdose. It was alleged that the student had been provided with drugs by Nigerian nationals.
The death set off a wave of violence as a mob targeted Africans, mostly students, in Greater Noida. Fearing further attacks and voicing alarm over inadequate security, the students even started keeping away from the institutes they are enrolled in.
As the situation limped backed to normalcy on Friday, colleges and universities reached out to the African students by offering them accommodation, food and other facilities.
Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU) in Lucknow issued a circular to all its affiliated colleges in Greater Noida, asking them to take care of the foreign nationals enrolled in their respective institutions.
“We have many colleges in Greater Noida where foreign nationals are enrolled and we are concerned about their safety as the region has been in turmoil. We have asked the managements of all our affiliated institutes to ensure that these students are safe on campus and outside,” said Dr Vinay Pathak, vice chancellor, AKTU.
Similarly, Sharda University has arranged for food and accommodation for all African students who are not residing in its hostel.
“A total of 60 African students who used to stay outside have sought refuge on our campus. We have shifted them to our hostels and their food and accommodation has also been taken care of. We have also provided food and other basic necessities to students who are staying outside the campus. Food has been given according to their eating habits,” said Ajit, spokesperson, Sharda University.
Post the violence between locals and Africans, district magistrate NP Singh had asked all institutes where African students are enrolled, to organise weekly cultural interactive sessions for sensitisation.
Other universities such Amity, Galgotia and Noida International University have also extended a helping hand.
“We have been organising culture interactive classes between Indian and foreign students. All African students are safe on our campus,” said Savita Mehta, spokesperson, Amity University.
However, the African students say that the sense of fear has still not erased from their minds after the race riots as they continue to boycott college.
“It is good that such steps are being taken by colleges but we are still unsure about our safety. I and my friends have not yet gone to college,” said Bukola, a student of Noida International University.