Students Protesting Death of LSR Student by Suicide Detained
Students urged that a committee be set up to ensure accessibility to online education for all during the pandemic.
Students and women groups staged protests in Delhi on Monday afternoon, demanding justice for a student of the Lady Shri Ram (LSR) College for Women, who allegedly died by suicide in her hometown in Telangana on 2 November citing financial difficulties triggered by the lockdown.
Aishwarya Reddy, an IAS aspirant, was found hanging at her Shadnagar house in the state’s Ranga Reddy district.
All India Students' Association (AISA), along with other progressive organisations of Delhi, protested condemning the ‘lack of empathy’ on the part of the Delhi University and LSR administration towards the students.
They questioned why the INSPIRE scholarship, which the students were eligible for, wasn't provided to her in time when she needed most, during the coronavirus lockdown.
Students Demand Resignation of Ministers In-Charge
The family of the 19-year-old, who had scored 98.5 percent in Class 12, said she left behind a note written in Telugu, which said, “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.”
AISA and SFI protested on the call of LSR Students Union, along with other organisations in front of the Department of Science and Technology, demanding the resignation of Dr Harshvardhan.
“The exclusionary character of online classes and exams has been highlighted time and again in Delhi University but has lead to no serious contemplation on part of the authorities. As DU goes into yet another phase of online OBEs for the odd semester, this digital divide must be broken so that no more lives are taken owing to the apathy of the education system,” read a statement from AISA Delhi.
Student groups -- Pinjra Tod, Dissenting Voices, SFI, AISA, Collective, and alumni members -- appealed to all LSR Students to join the logout strike called by the Students Union on Monday and boycott all classes.
National Student Union of India (NSUI) protested outside the residence of Union Education Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal’s on Sunday afternoon. The students were detained by the police soon after.
Students Demand Scholarship Benefit be Given to Victim’s Family
"A calculation of the general expenses borne by a hostel resident of the college suggests that the families spend more than Rs 1 lakh per year on studies and other educational expenses. And when the government delays the provision of funds to the students, it puts them and their families under immense pressure. These unfortunate events raise very serious questions about the priorities of the government of India, wherein they have ample amount of funds to allocate to the renovation of the Central Vista, purchase of two aeroplanes for the prime minister worth 20,000 crores and 8,500 crore rupees respectively, but forget about the promises made to the highly deserving and talented students,” read a statement from NSUI.
The students demanded the resignation of Minister of Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan, Principal of LSR Suman Sharma and the LSR Hostel Warden Ujjayini Ray.
They also asked for the INSPIRE scholarship amount to be given to Aishwarya’s family immediately and constitutionally mandated reservation policies be implemented in the hostel across all years.
“For us, Aishwarya’s suicide is an institutionalised murder of a promising student coming from a underprivileged background.”SFI in a Statement
They urged that a committee, comprising teachers and elected representatives of the student body, be immediately set up to ensure accessibility to online education for all students during the pandemic.
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