The safety factor after dark

precautionary measures

The safety factor after dark

It usually takes one untoward incident to make people sit up and start questioning the safety of a place. To prepare for fests or work on group projects, college students often take permission to stay back on the campus after class hours.

Metrolife speaks to campus authorities on the safety measures taken at night in light of the recent Manipal incident and the gang rape that happened on the Jnana Bharathi campus a few months ago.

While women’s colleges specifically discourage students from staying on campus after class, most others try to close by sunset. “We normally don’t allow students to stay back after 6 pm. If there is a need during fests, only the student government council is allowed to extend time. It’s mandatory for the college administrator, manager, electrician and two others to stay back till every student has left,” says Prakash B Nayak, principal, Sindhi College.

He adds, “There are more than 20 CCTV cameras on campus, including in the basement parking. All the gates have a minimum of two security guards while four security guards are on rounds in the campus 24/7. We are putting collapsible doors on each floor to ensure further safety.”

Dr A Nagarathna, principal, MS Ramaiah Institute of Arts Science and Commerce says that as a safety precaution, the girls’ hostels are inside the campus while PG accommodation is available right outside the college. “The campus is fairly big and there are strict ID card checks conducted at each gate.

Other than campus-registered vehicles, we don’t allow vehicles from outside to come in. As a department, we also see that students move out by 6 pm,” she says, adding, “CCTV cameras have been installed at various points. There are talks of organising self-defence classes for the girls. We have also formed a vigilance committee with both male and female teachers and staff members to monitor the movements of the students.”

Prof R Venkat Rao, vice-chancellor of National Law School of India University, vouches that their campus is 100 per cent safe at any hour of the day. “As far as our campus goes, it has always been safe. That’s the only reason why our library and all facilities are open till three in the morning.

But we have taken some extra measures recently. Four CCTV cameras, each with a 500-metre range, have been installed and are in operation at strategic locations. There’s also a biometric system in place,” he informs. Being a residential university that houses close to 500 students and staff, campus patrol is also given a lot of importance. Security guards are found throughout the campus and specifically in front of each building.

Campuses on the outskirts, aware of the fact that they are prone to safety lapses, are extra careful. Vogue Institute of Fashion Technology in Doddaballapur, for instance, is planning to raise its compound wall, informs chairman MM Kariappa. He adds, “We never allow outsiders into the campus and also seek the help of local police when some events are happening in college. We are installing CCTV cameras and have a vigilance committee to monitor student activities. We also tell students not to wear any valuables and follow a strict dress code.”

IFIM, located in Electronic City, has a unique initiative called S.A.F.E (Safety Against Female Exploitation). “We have a student-driven body that aims to sensitise people towards crime against women. We also have a helpline number which can be easily accessed by women when faced with any difficulty. The S.A.F.E volunteers handle all complaints received and take action immediately,” notes dean Madhumita Chatterji.
Other than the measures taken by the authorities, students should follow basic principles to ensure their own safety.

It is always a good idea to inform the authorities and someone trustworthy about one’s whereabouts. Having a fully charged mobile phone also helps in case of emergency. Another tip most colleges give students is to travel in groups and stay away from parking lots and deserted places.

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