LSR Gave 2 Weeks to Vacate Hostel: Students’ Union on Suicide Case
This added to financial woes of second-year student Aishwarya, who ended her life at her residence in Telangana.
Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram College for Women had given second-year students barely a fortnight to vacate their hostel accommodation during the pandemic, adding to financial woes of second-year student Aishwarya, who ended her life at her residence in Telangana’s Ranga Reddy district on 2 November, the General Secretary of the college’s Students’ Union Unnimaya told The Quint.
According to the student leader, Aishwarya had told her parents that she would have to vacate her hostel and would need around Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 to travel to Delhi and make alternate arrangements.
Her parents, who had already mortgaged their home for Rs 2 lakhs and some gold jewellery for another Rs one lakh, did not have enough money to pay for her travel to Delhi.
The student, who had scored 98.5 percent in Class 12, was unable to afford a laptop for online classes and was reportedly upset at not having received her INSPIRE scholarship in time.
“Because of me, my family is facing many financial problems. I am a burden for my family. My education is a burden. If I can’t study, I can’t live,” the note reportedly read.
It is not fully clear if her scholar ship was delayed or whether she was yet to complete the documentation for receiving the same.
Protests Over New Hostel Rule
Unnimaya said that in March 2019, LSR had issued a notice stating that students would have to vacate their hostel rooms at the end of first year and would have to make alternative arrangements for the rest of their second and third year.
This meant that hostel accommodation at LSR, which could previously be availed of by all students, would be limited to first-year students only. According to the college circular issued in 2019, the decision was taken to “to promote inclusivity by implementing constitutional reservations and to provide a secure environment to a larger number of students from various parts of India in their first-year.”
“We had protested this decision of the college and asked for increasing hostel seats. They had verbally promised to look into the option of a two-year hostel, instead of a three-year one. But in the last week of October, the college asked second-year students to vacate hostels during the pandemic.”Unnimaya, General Secretary, LSR SU
In one of their e-mails addressed to the college principal, the Students’ Union had pointed out that the decision would ‘jeopardise’ the very purpose of providing students with a sense of stability during the completion of their course.
Stressing on Aishwarya’s dire financial condition, Unnimaya asked how a student like her could afford private accommodation near the college.
“If a student wants to find a private hostel or PG near the college, she has to shell out Rs 20,000 to 30,000 every month, whereas the LSR hostel fee was only about Rs 60,000 per year,” Unnimaya said.
College Says Students Were Aware of Hostel Rule During Admission
However, LSR Principal Suman Sharma said that the decision to limit the hostel to two first-year students was taken after “students had protested around two years back, demanding that reservation be applied to hostel accommodation as well.”
Although pained by the “shocking demise” of Aishwarya, Principal Sharma said that the second-year student had neither approached the college, not her teachers or the designated counsellor with her problems.
Principal Sharma also said that students who took admission in the 2019-20 academic year, during which Aishwarya too, enrolled at the college, were clearly told that hostel accommodation would only be for first year from 2019.
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