There's a statement in the front page of the Newspaper today given by the principal of St.Stephens college in Delhi. For those who are not familiar with education in India, admission in Delhi University is a dream of many and St. Stephens is arguably the best graduation college in DU to get into for courses especially in science. So much so that the cut off percentage for most courses stops at some obscene 92% odd which means only the extremely brainy or the talented(for sports quotas etc.) get through (leaving aside other quotas ofcourse).
So when the principal reacts to a proposal of a Co-ed hostel by saying "If we go for co-ed hostels, we will have to build maternity wards next to it", it just strikes me as absurd. And a cover-up of Oh-I-was-just-kidding is even more so. Sometimes, I feel, we really should give more credit to people. I agree that parents and professors are only concerned and in some cases their concerns are even justified. But if you allow a person that age to vote and choose the leaders of your country....to get behind the wheel and drive on the roads, then allowing them to make choices about their own life doesnt seem too daunting.
A case in point is the institute I did my post grad from. MICA has a beautiful campus in the middle of a jungle outside Ahmedabad. When I say jungle, I really don't exaggerate. Getting from there to the city usually involves a change of 2-3 modes of transport. In the middle of this wilderness, MICA is governed by Professor Atul Tandan, a notable name in the corporate world who chose to get into academics. Thankfully, PAT (as he insists on being called) is of the opinion that everyone is capable of making their own decisions and are responsible individuals. Thus, MICA is not run with a stick in hand like some institutes. When I was there, PAT decided that our accomodation crunch would be solved by allocating one hostel as a co-ed hostel, one as boys hostel and one as girls. There was no fanfare nor were there any eyebrows raised on such a decision. Contrary to the beliefs of people like the principal of St.Stephens, we all did not jump in joy and rush to get a room in the co-ed hostel. Most of us preffered our space, and chose to live in the separate hostels....who wanted to see a guy outside the door early in the morning when we went out for tea?? Some students did choose to live in the co-ed one and believe me, it really WASN'T a big deal!!!
So all in all, we got through MICA without the need of any maternity ward....no permanent damage was suffered by anyone in my batch to the best of my knowledge. And we got through just fine....
So, sir, with all due respect, please give the kids a break!!!