In Delhi University, a graduate of an evening college is often looked down upon as someone who didn’t secure good marks, high enough to get admission in a top-ranking morning college. For many students of Dyal Singh Evening College, it was a similar case, until this week, when it was declared a ‘full-fledged college’ by the Executive College of Delhi University.
Amit Sharma, a student of BA, first year, says, “There’s a stigma attached to evening colleges. Log yeh sochte hain ki agar aap evening college ke ho, toh aap nalayak ho (People think if you are in an evening college, then you are a dud). Thank God for this change!”
It’s a relief for girls, who commute for long distances to reach home. “I don’t have to worry about rushing home after classes, now. Though I didn’t know about this move when I took admission but now that it has happened, I’m happy that my parents won’t worry about me reaching home late,” says Taniya Khatri, a first-year student of B Com (Prog).
Reiterating the same, Pawan Kumar Sharma, principal, Dyal Singh Evening College, says, “It will benefit our female students. Since some of them come from far flung areas of Delhi, they often want to leave around 6pm. Earlier, we would finish by 8pm, but now the classes will be over by 5pm. It will also diminish the stigma attached to it, since it was an evening college. The new name of the college is yet to be decided, and we will announce it soon.”
On hearing this news, the happiness of students knew no bounds. This conversion will also let students follow their passions and other interests, after classes. “An equal status, finally! We are the lucky batch… I even heard our seniors say this,” says Nupur Singh, B Com (Hons), final year, adding, “Evening colleges are always regarded as inferior to morning colleges. The cut-off percentage is also comparatively low. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t study hard! Humein bahut inferior samajhte they, specially jab college ko funds dene ki baat aati thi.”
“A lot of students have taken admission this year because of the switch to morning college,” says Mohd Tariq, a final year student of English (Hons). He adds, “Students would earlier ask ki humara 93% mein kahi aur admission ho raha hai toh hum yahan evening college mein admission kyun lein? (When we can get admission in a morning college with 93% then why should we opt for an evening college).”
Reiterating the issue of safety of female students, Tariq says, “Earlier some of the classes commenced at 8pm and we would only reach home by 11pm. Most of the time we ended up dropping our female friends home after classes. Then our parents would call us to check on our whereabouts.”
Getting late in the evening wasn’t a concern for just the youngsters but even some of the adults. “My family is extremely overjoyed as I’ll now reach home early,” says Deepika Sharma, from accounts department of the college administration, adding, “Most of my colleagues could hardly spent time with their children as they would sleep by the time they reached home. I’m happy that this won’t be the case now.”
There are, however, some students, who feel that studying in an evening college had a different high altogether. Akshara Sabharwal, who graduated in 2016, says, “Our classes would start at 2pm and I could comfortably get up by 10am. Even though I travelled from Faridabad to Lodhi Road, there was loads of time to reach college.”
Evening colleges in DU were started for students who wanted to take up part-time jobs, while pursuing studies. Unfortunately, the purpose is not served, feels Poonam Gupta, associate professor, department of commerce. She says, “Over the years, we’ve seen that apart from students who have recently passed 12th, no one else is taking admission.”