Could Teach Only 1 Daughter, Now She’s No More: LSR Student’s Kin

“My education is a burden. If I can’t study, I can’t live,” Aishwarya Reddy wrote in her suicide note.

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“I didn’t have the money to buy her a pair of spectacles. One of her friends got her the specs. These specs came day before yesterday from Warangal. Madam got these for my daughter. I didn’t have the ability to give her these,” said Srinivas Reddy, his voice quivering as he held a pair of spectacles.

These glasses won’t be used again.

On 2 November, second-year Maths student of Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram college, Aishwarya Reddy died by suicide unable to cope with crippling financial distress and a widening digital divide. The meritorious student left behind a note, saying: “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…. Forgive me, I am not a good student.”

Talking to The Quint, Srinivas Reddy said that his daughter came home after lockdown. “Online classes were going on, but she didn’t have a good phone. Her phone was hanging a lot. She told me she needed a laptop, but I didn’t have the money to buy the laptop either. I was in debt, and my daughter was in depression because of this,” he said.

Helpless and desperate, the family even tried reaching out to actor Sonu Sood. “In one of the TV channels, I saw that Sonu Sood Saab was helping people. I asked her to write a mail to him and see if he gives something. She told me that it was not happening,” he said.

As the family struggled to make ends meet, Aishwarya's sister had to drop out of school. But the school refused to provide a transfer certificate as the fee was not paid. According to the family, Aishwarya begged with her sister’s school to give her a TC so she could be enrolled in a government school. Watching her sister drop out affected Aishwarya deeply.

“I wanted to study in a government school from the 9th grade, but they didn't give me TC. My sister told them that only online classes are going on right now, we will give the money once the classes start, but they didn't agree. My sister's last words were, ‘why did you stop your studies because of me?’” she said.

Srinivas Reddy has a simple request to those in power – that the government should take responsibility to educate bright students. “My daughter is no more. But there could be more people like her. Their children may be bright but are not getting any help from the government. The governments have to act. If there is a good student, they should take care of her education. Not everyone is rich,” he said.

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