Just when India was witnessing a clash between ideologies and various student bodies, A pandemic was tightening its grip all over the world. Soon it reached India, and suddenly we ceased belonging to any caste, creed, or religion but were all perishable human being struggling to meet and dwell in the physical world.
India saw a Janata Curfew on 22nd march and was followed by a series of lockdowns. As the prime implication of the lockdowns was to stay home, the most evident and cruel impact of it was on the migrant laborers and students stuck in different states of India, struggling to reach back their respective states. Heart-wrenching stories of stranded people dying and running out of necessities and calls for help surfaced all over social media platforms and amongst them was a tweet by Ajay Patel, an ABVP activist and a student seeking help to travel back to his home in Varanasi. According to sources, NSUI arranged for his conveyance within 24 hours. NSUI and ABVP are two rival student bodies yet traces of humanity always overpower the loathes of ideology and that during such an hour kindness is the only key to sail through.
“Priyanka Gandhi Ji took this initiative to help every migrant or student go back home in their respective states. We were getting distress calls, especially from U.P and Rajasthan. Rajasthan was done way back before in a few different phases. There was this chunk of students from Uttar Pradesh that was left out because there was no proper facility being provided by the Delhi Government or the U.P Government. So finally we decided to arrange our transport and get permission done by the DCP of the Delhi Police and help these students to travel back home. Be they of any party, ideology, caste, race, religion. It doesn’t even matter because for us humanity is above all. So that’s why we took this stand and it was amazing to see such positive response from your political rivals, with whom we have faced off at every single situation, ideological faceoff in the university, in every sphere of the campus politics. But we make sure that we help every student and he was disheartened that he was ignored by his party, his union members, so NSUI came forward to help him.” Akshay Lakra, NSUI, Delhi President told us
We also got in touch with Sidharth Yadav, State Secretary, ABVP Delhi, who stated, “In this time of crisis we as an organization do not feel that any kind of politics should happen regarding this thing. ABVP in the past two months have done tremendously we’ve given more than 45000 food packets to students and helped out so many students and we’re finally happy that if NSUI also for that matter any student organization or any student coming up to help any student doing anything I think that is a good thing and everybody has to do their part in this time of crisis. So if NSUI is finally doing any such thing for students we are glad because we’ve made a call way earlier to all students organization to come out in the time of distress in the first two-three lockdown. DUSU members are going on the ground to hostels to take care of students and are fighting for students living on pg. I think all of us are doing our part. As it comes down to being an activist and helping out someone I think I’ll look it up as a student of Delhi University moreover he’s not our post holder I’m for sure even though that doesn’t matter for sure. In the larger picture, I think all students organization and students and all parts strata of the society must come out to help out students in this time of distress and if NSUI finally decided to do it help out students then they must do it, this is no time for politics and picking and choosing all students are for us and we’ve to serve them all.”
NSUI mediated, funded, and arranged to send back a total of 30 students to their homes in Uttar Pradesh, who were stuck in Delhi with the sudden imposition of lockdown and had also run out of money.
As they say, every cloud has a silver lining, this very incident has instilled hope in humanity yet again and that above all our political and ideological inclinations and affiliations, we are humans and all that it takes to make this world a better place to live in, is humanity and empathy. Though it makes me sad that it took a pandemic to make all of us realize this.