Today was the grand reopening of colleges but many of the ones FPJ visited either sported a haunted look or their security guards outside had prepared a speech for media people.
The guards outside Narsee Monjee (NM) college at Vile Parle said, "Sab students ko WhatsApp pe message mile hain aaj ke bare main. Hum kuch nahin jaanthey (all students have been notified via WhatsApp about today. I don't know anything." This was in response to a query regarding no students being seen outside the gate of the institute.
We were told that Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) next door, had not yet started offline classes. Meanwhile, colleges like Kishinchand Chellaram (KC) at Churchgate saw a handful of students and St. Xaviers College near Metro cinema looked as desolate as during the pandemic.
FPJ visited a few more colleges but none seemed ready to resume operations. A PRO of a suburban college told FPJ that she would record videos about the activity inside the college and also all the preparations by the management keeping in mind COVID-19 precautions, and send them to us. However, no students were seen entering the college.
At some colleges, a student or two was seen coming out of the gate. When asked they said that there were no lectures and the class was mostly empty, so they decided to call it a day. One student who had his mother waiting for him in the car said that his mother was worried and had decided to wait for her till her lectures got over for the day. "But my mother had to hardly wait. Have stepped out of college in half an hour. There was nothing happening in there."
Some students found lurking at street corners told FPJ that they did visit the college but there were hardly any people around and even professors were not to be seen. Since there was no food available in the canteens, they had decided to take a stroll outside and eat something.
When asked about social distancing they said that since there were very few students in class, social distancing was easy to maintain. They said all students were wearing masks inside and had sanitizers in their bags which they generously used during the day.
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