Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 11:
Students should not succumb to peer pressure to get into bad habits or crime while the authorities of educational institutions should take steps to ensure discipline while promoting student-centric activities, senior Odisha cadre IPS officer and twin-city Commissioner of Police, Dr Rajendra Prasad Sharma, said today.
Dr Sharma said this while launching a new police initiative to reach out to students of different educational institutions in the twin-cities at the Institute of Technical Education and Research (ITER), run by the SOA University.
“It is disturbing to see students getting involved in crime and possessing firearms as well. They are in the most important phase of their careers, a phase which can either make them an asset or a liability for their families and society,” he said during the 90-minute long interaction with the students.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Bhubaneswar, Nitinjeet Singh and other senior police officials were also present.
Stating that the interaction with students was the first of its kind, Dr Sharma said it would be continued in other educational institutions to create awareness among the students while counseling them to pursue a healthy lifestyle.
He said he had reports that there were 126 colleges in the city with a student strength of around 1,70,000 of whom 40,000 were from other states.
“Unfortunately, peer pressure was driving students into drug and alcohol addiction. When students want to have their own lifestyle, it requires money which they don’t get from their parents. In order to meet the expenses themselves they resort to petty crimes,” he said, adding ‘once you get into this cycle, it’s difficult to get out of it.’
Sharma advised authorities of educational institutions to ensure discipline while providing avenues of counseling to the students. The campus should have CCTV coverage to observe students’ activities and compile a complete database with all information about them. The authorities should take up programs to promote a healthy life style among students, he said.
In his address, the DCP Nitinjeet Singh said once the students graduate and join work somewhere they would find it a completely different world where they would be required to prove themselves on a daily basis.
“You must spend your time wisely in the campus today while developing your skills and try to be in a hostel in the campus,” he advised.
During the interaction, students spoke about issues of eve-teasing, drugs and unruly riding of bikes outside the campus and suggested establishment of a police outpost near the college.
Sharma said establishment of a police outpost might not solve the problem but promised to enhance security in the area.
Senior faculty members of ITER also attended the program.
Prof PK Nanda, dean (research) of the University presided over the program and also felicitated Dr Sharma and the accompanying senior police officials.