Pradeep Pattanayak

The students of Kusumdevi Women’s College at Kalyan Nagar in Cuttack district on Monday turned masons and labourers and constructed their boundary wall. 

If you think the college authorities forced them to work as labourers, you have got another think coming. 

Around 600 students, with uniforms on and armed with trowels and baskets, gathered on the ground behind their college building. A few minutes later, some of them were seen mixing sand with cement, some others fixing laterite stones and yet some others supplying mixtures to the students donning the mason hats. 

Justifying their act, the students said they had no option left but to do so. 

Investigation revealed, the open space behind the college building belongs to the college. While the college authorities would use the space to hold annual sports and students to spend leisure time, people living nearby would use the same space to commute through driving vehicles and riding bikes. Local youths while passing through the field would also pass comments to the girls. Moreover, there were risks of accidents as well. 

The college authorities in past tried to construct its boundary wall on several occasions but failed as nearby residents would oppose it. 

With no option left, it was the students that finally took up the cudgels. 

“During our sports event, if a passerby gets hurt who will be responsible? Are the local residents will be responsible?” asked a student.

Seconding her, another student said, “We were facing lots of problems. We couldn’t play on our own college campus. We would go somewhere to play. There were problems in organising annual sports. We want we should play on our own college campus.”

Coming in support of the students, the college’s sports teacher said, “The field had been a hub of antisocial activities. Students did not feel secure during sports as local youths would loiter around and take pictures of them. Our college sports will begin on December 26.”

(Reported by Biswajit Acharya from Cuttack, OTV)