DU's helping hand for NE students

University organised first of its kind festival with an objective to make NE students more aware about the safety measures that need to be taken care of


Jasleen Kaur | January 24, 2011

Agatha Sangma, MoS Rural Development at NESFEST in Delhi University
Agatha Sangma, MoS Rural Development at NESFEST in Delhi University

In the wake of the recent attacks on women from the northeastern states, Delhi University (DU) aims to foster a sense of security and solidarity with its students from the region. The university on Monday organized first of its kind festival - NESFEST (North East Students’ Festival), with a theme to empower the NE students in DU.

Every year thousands of students from the northeast take admission in various colleges under the Delhi University. The main objective of the programme was to make the students more familiar with the university system and to make them more aware about the safety measures that need to be taken care of.

The programme was organised by the student welfare department. Dean, students welfare, prof S K Vij said, “The purpose behind the initiative is to enable greater integration among students coming from across the country. We have asked all the colleges to have at least one mentor teacher just for these students, with whom they can discuss their problems.” He added that it is the responsibility of Delhi Police to make students coming from these regions feel safe in the city.

Agatha Sangma, minister of state for rural development, who hails from Meghalaya said, “One of the most important factors that worries us is of security. When lot of violence was taking place against the students from northeast, a MPs forum from the region met the prime minister and requested to ensure more safety. And things have improved after that."

The students even had an interactive session with the additional DCP (north) R K Singh. He informed students about the steps being taken by the Delhi police to ensure safe campus for female students and NE students overall. He said the number of police personnel at the Maurice Nagar police station, under which the north campus comes, has been increased to 100, out of which 58 are female officers. “The ACP is a lady and there are many other lady officers. We just want students not to hesitate. We are available for their help round the clock.”

Singh informed about separate helpline for female students – 1,091 and 1,291.

Students were happy with the initiative by the university but felt much more needs to be done.

Aziu Gangmei, currently studying in the law faculty has been part of the university since 2004. Aziu says things have improved in the recent past but problems like eve teasing are common. “Even if we complaint there is not much action taken. We want more protection from the Delhi police. More PCR vans should be there in the campus post seven.”

Pao Obeyson, who completed his graduation in 2006, says, “Boys still don’t face that much; it’s the girls who face a lot (harassment). Things are not easy even when they are travelling by the public transport.”



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