Not a single toilet for boys at 10,000-strong college

Dilapidated toilets for girls and lack of drinking water are the standard features that students of Birsa College near Ranchi have to live with.

The government college in Khunti distict, 40 km from Ranchi, comes under Ranchi University. It has 10,000 registered students from class 12 to Bachelor’s level, the college principal said.

But it does not even have a toilet for boys. They have to answer nature’s call in the open.

“We have proposed toilets for boys and girls, and started construction work, but as this is a government thing we are waiting for funds,” college principal N Manjhi said. “After the Assembly elections, we expect to get funds by January and resume construction work,” he added.

But students say they have little hope of getting relief. “We know nothing is going to change here. We have made our own adjustments,” class 12 student Rupam said.

Another student, Roshini Kumari, said they have 104 registered students in the class but only eight attend classes regularly. “Bad facilities drive away most students,” Kumari said.

When this reporter went to a class at 9.30 am, only four students were seen attending to a lecture by one of the only 19 teachers at the college.

“Here, most students are tribals and from poor backgrounds, so they can’t devote their full time to college. The area also has insurgency issues,” class 12 commerce teacher M Prasad said.

Attendance is poor in almost all the sections, and the professor to student ratio is just 1:526. Students attend coaching centres, whose banners have been pasted all around the walls on the college premises.

Students prefer missing regular classes to go to coaching centres, where they pay Rs 750-Rs 1,000.

“Students know they can’t pass if they depend only on college lectures. So they come to us and we charge a nominal amount,” Physics tutor Rajesh Thakur said.

The town has 10 coaching centres in a 5-km radius from the college.

“We stated classes after a long Durga Puja vacation; students will take their own time to get into the mood for studies,” the college principal said.

Jharkhand boasts 71 per cent male and 68 per cent female literacy rate, much above the national average of 59 per cent.

But a reality check at this government college, where teachers are few and facilities lacking, proves that even high literacy rate might not help the state to develop qualitatively.    

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