JAMMU, JUN 27: Strange it may sound, but it is a bitter truth that the University of Jammu has closed its gates for morning walkers and security threat is being given as the reason, which does not go down the throat of health freaks as the Civil Secretariat, which is more vulnerable as compared to Jammu university, allows the common man to enter the premises after proper frisking and issuing a pass.
It has been reliably learnt that the morning walkers have not been allowed to enter the university premises for the last over a week. This decision of the University has come as a bolt from the blue for the unemployed educated youth, who were preparing themselves for various jobs requiring physical fitness. There are very few grounds in Jammu city and the grounds of University of Jammu are considered to be the best place for preparation for various events, which are mandatory for recruitment in Police, Army, CRPF and other allied departments. In spite of the fact that the university is a public institution fully funded by the Govt, still it is not allowing the people for morning workout.
“We are not demanding full time from the University but only the early hours when there is neither class work nor hustle-bustle of the students and teachers”, said a group of morning walkers. They said that the University has some responsibility towards civil society and it cannot take unilateral decisions, which tantamount to dictatorial attitude thereby marring the basic essence of education which includes physical education.
The role of the university is not only to impart education but provide physical education to the students as well as the people associated with it. University is a public institution and it has to show some seriousness in the well being of the people. The University can allocate some time to the morning walkers before the commencement of its own activities after proper frisking. It can also depute some security persons to manage the affairs,” they added.
Kuldip Singh Khalsa, a prominent businessman said the stubborn attitude of the University of Jammu authorities can be gauged from the fact that the University of Kashmir has not imposed such restrictions on the people of Srinagar. Youngsters are seen playing football and elders doing exercises in the University of Kashmir in the morning. The so-called security threat is not visible in the University of Kashmir or any other university of the state except the University of Jammu which sounds absurd.
Kulbir Singh Slathia, former official of the J&K State Financial Corporation, who has been a regular morning walker for the last thirty years, expressed concern over the state of affairs in the University of Jammu. He appealed to the Governor to intervene in the matter in the best interest of the people of Jammu. It seems that the University of Jammu has lost its vision by closing the gates for morning walkers. The university must roll back its decision of imposing restrictions on the morning walker as it would be in the larger interest of the civil society, he added.
Prof Keshav, Registrar JU
We take pride in having the worthy members of the civil society using our campus for taking a walk but they need to follow the norms laid down by the Dean Students Welfare, university of Jammu.
Prof Satnam Kour, Dean Students Welfare Jammu University when contacted said that for security reasons we cannot allow strangers to enter the campus, we charge a nominal fee for providing the facilities like washrooms etc; and issue proper cards for those interested in availing the facility.
SK Gupta retired Chief Engineer PDD and past president of Senior Citizens Welfare association said these days almost every citizen has a PAN or AADHAR card which in itself is complete identity. I do not think there is any requirement of mine obtaining recommendation of two professors of Jammu University for using the facility of taking a walk in the campus. In case they want me to pay, they should have the payment facility at the gate itself and should not make elders run around for recommendations.
Vinod Gupta past President Central Mahajan Sabha Jammu said that the University authorities have made an issue out of non issue and are harassing members of the civil society by closing the gates for morning walkers. I had made a Bank Draft of Rs. 550/- on 28 Mar 2017 for the card which has been issued to me in June 2017 whereas it should have been issued to me the same day as there are machines punching such cards in ten minutes. I have used similar facility at Banaras Hindu University, Chandigarh University and Punjab Agriculture University Ludhiana without being questioned by anyone or being charged for the same. At times a child or a lady member of the family accompanies me but they face the ire of the arrogant security staff.
Balwan Singh, former MLA and a prominent face of civil society said the stubborn attitude of the university authorities defeats the basic aim of “Health For All” as the campus is not their personal property but the property of the public and they must maintain public sensitivity. Singh who has been a prominent student leader of his time, said this practice of “Walkers” cards is a recent phenomenon as it never existed during their stay in the campus. He urged the vice chancellor to immediately find a lasting solution to the problem being faced by the esteemed members of the civil society.
Rajesh Padha, a prominent marathon runner from Jammu who has participated in national and international events laments the attitude of Jammu University authorities for harassing the peace loving citizens. He is not able to pass on his experience and exposure to the younger generation of athletes in the absence of ground facilities. We are not using Raj Bhawan facilities that we need a character certificate from two professors of the university as a self attested from should be enough for the pass. Its very strange that the card issued is only for walking and not for running he added.