Wednesday, 7 August 2013

JNU scholars plea for a counselling centre on campus

PATNA: Dozens of research scholars of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi have urged the JNU vice-chancellor to set up a full-fledged counselling centre inside the campus to render their social psychological grievances.

JNU still does not have one counsellor or therapist. Nor does the campus have sufficient medical facilities. A lone health centre in the campus is not adequately equipped to treat even minor injuries. "A delegation of students would soon meet the VC in this regard," said a research scholar of School of International Studies, JNU.

In an open letter to the JNU VC, signatories said : "JNU is known for its open, democratic and gender sensitive campus. In the campus both boys and girls live in the same hostel and share mess and common room for years." Condemning the incident, they said that a section of media has breached all humanitarian norms by revealing the names and other personal details of both the students. "We would work to ensure that such incident will not happen again," said Gayatri of the Centre for Contemporary Political theory, said.

"We will also made a plea to the VC to scrap the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations which has depoliticised students here," said Rajan Jha JNU research scholar in the centre for Asian Studies in School of International Studies (SIS). The Lyngdoh Committee was set up in 2006 to lay down guidelines for university elections.

""We have decided to make a small group of senior students for having a counselling session with the newly selected undergraduate students mainly coming from remote places like Bihar, UP and Odhisa", Jha told TOI over phone.

Welcoming the decision of the JNU VC S K Sopory to appoint a permanent counsellor for the School of Languages exclusively, Jha said "Right now we have a psychiatrist who comes in three times a week but he is for the whole university".

"JNU will be the same as always, this campus is not for frisking students, it will remain an open campus like before and there will definitely be no closed circuit cameras in the classrooms", JNU VC SK Sopory made a statement, a day after Akash, an undergraduate student of the School of Languages, allegedly hacked his classmate Roshani with an axe, all in the name of love.

A PhD student of the School of Languages said that experts should be called from a reputed institution in the campus on the regular basis to counsel students to handle situations like stalking and relationships and other tricky issues .

"The counselling and health centres would not alone solve these problems unless the conducive atmosphere is maintained in the compus. More informal interaction in the campus is needed," said another research scholar Husna Ara of the Centre for Russian Studies.

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