Gangtok, 14 Jan:
Members of Students’ Representative Council of Nar Bahadur Bhandari Degree College, Tadong, from the previous two years today condemned the Education Department’s directions to the college authorities to “hand over” the college ground to unemployed youth of the area to organize a winter carnival “without any further delay.”
A press communiqué issued by former SRC members condemns the move in the “strongest words” and has urged the department to withdraw it immediately.
The release details that the ground was handed over for as a Maghey Mela venue in 2016 and then again for the next two years. Despite opposition and resistance from the students, the organizers used their access to those in power to overcome the protests “without much difficulty.”
In February 2018, however, immediately after that year’s Maghey mela, the then SRC, along with the students, pushed for a ban on allowing the college ground for commercial events and the department eventually issued an office order on 22 March 2018 stating: “With the approval of the competent authority, henceforth the playground of Sikkim Government College, Tadong (later renamed as NBBDC, Tadong) will not be allowed for holding melas and other commercial purposes.”
This order was signed by the Director of Higher Education, HRDD. The latest missive from the Education Department directing that the ground be handed over for a Winter Carnival also comes from the same office.
“We all are aware of the various ill effects of organizing melas in a college ground. Further, the ground of NBBDC, has been maintained very recently. Thus, there is a maximum chance that its quality will degrade. Although, a very strict terms and conditions has been signed in paper but we are doubtful that it will be complied properly as it seems that the mela organizing committee is blessed by the people in power,” the release states.
The release also commends the college authorities for resisting efforts to allow the ground for melas again and regrets that the “the people in power emerged victorious” again.
“We urge the present SRC, the students and all the stakeholders to stand against the mela and to raise their voice in order to preserve the sanctity of the prestigious college. No power is stronger than that of the united students,” the release concludes.