Ranchi Women’s College students of regional and tribal languages would rather sit out than risk life and limb inside their classroom. Picture by Prashant Mitra
The classrooms of the tribal languages department of Ranchi Women’s College, one of the oldest cradles in the state, are crying for attention, pleas that nobody hears.
The twin classrooms dedicated to the college for teaching regional and tribal languages are crumbling — the peeling paint, broken windows and doors and the cracked ceiling bearing testimony to the neglect — prompting nearly 50 undergraduate students to shift to the tiny verandah outside to continue their learning.
The department, which is 25 year old, is situated right opposite the Bhanumati Prasad Memorial Hall. The college, which was set up way back in 1949, uses the hall to organise seminars and cultural programmes on campus.
Students claimed that the rooms had been lying in such a condition for some years now as repeated attempts to draw the attention of college authorities towards the issue fell flat.
College officials, however, have been kind enough to arrange seven wooden benches on the verandah where the students jostle for space while attending classes.
Late comers are forced to take shelter under a huge tree where the college has placed two more benches.
But the rickety benches add to the woe of the students, thanks largely to the unpaved verandah, which makes it hard for them to concentrate.
“We cannot risk sitting inside those classrooms. They have been lying neglected for years now. Hum kya kar sakte hain? Hum log madam ko bolte hai. Lekin kuch nahi hua (What can we do? We have complained about the situation. But nothing has been done so far),” rued a second-year student of the department on condition of anonymity.
Echoing her, another student added that they often had to go sit under a tree while attending classes.
“Jab barish hoti hai toh hum log kisi tarah adjust karte hain (We somehow adjust when it rains),” she said.
A section of students had given up hope and expect no relief in the near future.
“What can we do? All our protests so far have fallen on deaf ears. The college authorities will not provide separate space for us,” a student complained.
Surprisingly, head of the tribal and regional languages department Savita Kesri denied the students were facing any hardships.
“We have enough space to accommodate all our students,” she claimed.