The Durga Puja and Dussehra vacation was the time for college students to let down their hair and have lots of fun.
Some hopped pandals during the festival days, some indulged in gastronomic adventures and others spent quality time with family and friends. Books and studies were put on the backburner.
“I visited more pandals during Durga Puja this year than ever before,” said Pooja Kumari, a second-year history student of Magadh Mahila College. “I also had a lot of roadside food like chaats and phuchkas.”
Unlike her, Vijaya, a third-year student of Patna Women’s College, woke up late in the mornings, a rarity when college is open. “I rested and slept so that I can return to my studies refreshed,” she said.
The fun part though had begun before the vacation.
Debate on democracy
Students of St Xavier’s College, Digha Ghat, bandied words at a debate on Indian democracy just before closing for vacation.
Held on October 20 on the college premises, the motion was: “Democracy is successful in India.”
Isha Raj, a second-year BCom student, spoke in favour of the motion. “For the past 64 years, India has successfully demonstrated that democracy works,” she said.
Supporting Raj's views, Antara, another first-year student, said: “People in India can go anywhere they want to. This is because of the power of our democracy.”
The opposition at the debate, chaired by Jose Kalapura, was also very strong. Kumar Raunak, a third-year BCom student, was the first speaker against the motion. “The exercise of democracy has been pathetic in our country,” he said. “More than half the population is illiterate. Is this democracy?”
He was supported by batch-mate Priti Kumari. “Millions of Indian citizens, who belong to Dalit or tribal communities, are clamouring for human rights, thousands are languishing in jails as they wait for justice, children are forced to labour and deprived of education,” said Priti.
“These can’t be the characteristics of a functioning democracy,” she added.
The motion was defeated. Raj was declared the best speaker while Raunak came second.
The investiture of the student council was also held on the same day.
A career education cell was opened at St Xavier's College earlier this month. More than 60 students enrolled in a course that will train them about various career options.
While some students focus on their careers, others take care of their grooming.
Students of Magadh Mahila College can now pursue a healthy body along with their studies at the institution where a gymnasium was inaugurated on October 8.
Poulomi Chatterjee, a third-year BCom student, said: “I think I shall look better if I shed 5-6kgs. The new gym will help me get fit.”
Chandragupt Institute of Management, Patna, (CIMP) is planning to open campuses in Fiji and Mauritius.
Director of the institute V. Mukunda Das said: “Once we shift to our new campus (at Mithapur), we shall go ahead with the plan of opening branches abroad.”
Both Fiji and Mauritius have Bihari diaspora. The idea to open the campuses in these countries took root after a delegation of students from the island nations visited the CIMP last year.