While the state government has asked universities and colleges to take necessary steps to prevent students from organising and participating in rave and alcohol parties,several principals say it is not feasible for colleges to monitor students outside the campus as it does not fall under their jurisdiction.
A recent directive from the state government had said such parties,which also included girls,could create social as well as law and order problems.
Students do celebrate occasions like Friendship Day or Rose Day and we have CCTV cameras to monitor them. But it is difficult for us to monitor what they do outside college premises. We can only educate students and tell them about the disadvantages of drug and alcohol abuse,but there is no guarantee everyone will take the advice seriously. Parents,students and institutions must share a good rapport,which is currently missing in our society, said Manju Nichani,principal of K C College,Churchgate.
Zenia Motiwala a final-year postgraduate student from St Xaviers College,Dhobi Talao,said since only a few students participated in such parties,issuing directives and asking for compliance reports would inconvenience others. Its a personal choice as to whether you want to participate in rave parties or not. Those who want to break laws will do so. Hence,I dont see how such a directive can really help , said Motiwala.
Minu Madlani,principal of B L Amlani College,Juhu,favoured formal and informal counselling sessions and conversations with students,where they are comfortable discussing issues. Peer pressure is massive these days,so students tend to follow their own groups. But controlling their activities when they are outside the campus or outside their homes is not feasible for colleges and even parents. If we can make them understand through counselling and informal sessions,they will do the right thing, she said.
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Colleges said if the circular is taken in the spirit of creating awareness among students on the ill-effects of drug or alcohol abuse,it may help. Our college conducts regular sensitisation and awareness sessions on issues like alcohol and drug abuse. We also have gender awareness and sensitisation sessions. Young people like to experiment and creating awareness among them is important. But the government cannot expect colleges to follow students everywhere, said Father Frazer Mascarenhas,principal of St Xaviers College.
A senior professor from Mumbai University said while the intention behind of the directive may have been good,it should have been written in a more diplomatic manner. The language (of the directive) is not in the right spirit. The youth today is exposed to many things. There is a small percentage who tend to indulge in wrong activities. But forced motivation will not help, said the professor.