New Delhi: Students from various universities in Delhi staged a protest outside the University Grants Commission (UGC) headquarters here, demanding an institutional enquiry into the death of an LSR college student, who allegedly died by suicide last week following concerns over pursuing education in view of her family's poor financial condition.
"The negligence in the disbursement of scholarships, ignorance on the part of the administration and the unjust system of online education have claimed many lives in different ways amidst the pandemic, tampering the future of thousands of students like Aishwarya," one of the protesting students said.
The protest call was given by the Left-backed All India Students' Association of India (AISA).
Aishwarya, a student of the Lady Sri Ram (LSR) College for Women and an IAS aspirant, was found hanging at her Shadnagar house in Telangana's Ranga Reddy district on November 2. In a suicide note purportedly written by her, the 19-year-old woman said she did not want to burden her parents with her educational expenses, according to police officials.
The second-year BSc Mathematics (Honours) student had returned home from Delhi in March, after those staying in the hostel were asked to go home by the college authorities in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The digital divide, owing to the class-caste-gender divide in the society is widening and resulting in inequalities that will reflect way after the pandemic is gone. We demand the setting up of an independent inquiry into the institutional murder of the LSR student.”
"We want the disbursement of all pending scholarships, including JRF and SRF, and a strategic re-opening of college campuses, hostels and other university facilities," a charter of demands submitted by the protesting students said.
"The provision of internet be made for those in need and the government must take the responsibility of the bills. Students amidst the pandemic have been one of the worst-hit communities. From a lack of resources to a lack of resilience on the part of the government, the education of India's poorest has suffered terribly," it added.