While the pandemic has made us take classes from the comforts of the very insouciant “Netflix and chill”, a financial imbroglio has erupted in the lives of many. A population of DU students hailing from the underprivileged classes is witnessing things change for the worst post-second wave. #FeeMustFallDU rings loudly on the campus and can be heard clearly from the lanes of Twitter and IG.
The students had first written to the vice-chancellor of the University of Delhi anticipating a positive response. However, he didn’t respond.
As a result, since July 12, fee waiver protests have been made to the gates of the centenarian university. The objective of the protests is the waiving-off of unnecessary fees that are being charged during the pandemic. In addition, the voices at the protest are asking for proper financial aid to the families of about 3 lakh collegiates who come from underprivileged backgrounds.
FROM MOBILE DATA PACKS TO COLLEGE FEES
While recharges seem like a necessity these days, thanks to the cult of online classes; for a large number of DU students the 2 GB DATA/day ring bells of financial crunch during the pandemic. In addition to this woe, the students are being compelled to pay the non-tuition fees. This includes electricity/water fee, cultural fee, NSS fee, NCC fee, and above all, the other facilities that the students haven’t availed of in the last year.
AFTAB AND HIS ENTOURAGE | #FEEMUSTFALLDU RINGS LOUDLY ON THE CAMPUS
Aftab Alam, himself is a student of Buddhist Studies at the University of Delhi. After realizing that DU has seen his concerns for the underprivileged as mere dead letters, he along with a couple of students decided to go on a peaceful protest.
The varsity guards showed ludicrous behaviour and thrashed the protestors. In one of his letters which were addressed to MLA Dilip Pandey (Timarpur) (in addition to chief WHIP, Delhi Assembly), Aftab mentions how those guards had torn their posters but Aftab’s entourage faced them fearlessly. Above all, the officials sent goons to throw these students out. In the letter, Aftab recalls how in that moment of heat, he ran towards the terrace and told them he won’t back until the issue is resolved. But they managed to throw the students out of the premises, injuring many.
Many arose sceptical brows on the statement that DU had sent those guards and goons. Aftab reveals that the goons themselves had said that they’ve come to discuss the issue on behalf of the university. “Following which a few minutes later came the masked goons who attacked”, Aftab said.
RECEPTION, DEJECTION, AND SUPPORT | #FEEMUSTFALLDU RINGS LOUDLY IN THE CAMPUS
The Hon’ble Vice President of India Mr M. Venkaiah Naidu recognized this as a matter of concern and appealed to the Ministry of Human Resource and Development as well as the Directorate Of Education Govt. Of NCT Of Delhi. Apart from the fustigate response the University gave by thrashing the students, the Dean of Student’s Welfare at DU refused to talk about this issue. In spite of all this, the students didn’t withdraw their steps. They have even decided to go on an indefinite hunger strike if the university doesn’t look into the matter soon.
Jayati Ghosh, an Indian development economist who is the Chairperson of the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning at JNU has given her support to Alam and his allies via a tweet.
In solidarity with the protesting students of University of Delhi demanding fee waiver and proper financial aid during the pandemic. Delhi University must implement the demands immediately, to ensure education access for students from underprivileged sections.
— Jayati Ghosh (@Jayati1609) July 22, 2021
In addition to Delhi MLA Dilip Pandey, Alam and his entourage had approached Delhi MLA Aatishi, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, and even CM Arvind Kejriwal to speak up in support of their cause.
Read here | DU TO WAIVE OFF FEES TO AID STUDENTS