With unwavering purposefulness, NSUI started an indefinite hunger strike from the afternoon of January 23, 2018 at the Arts Faculty.
Members of NSUI braved the rains and flagged slogans such as, “Chatron ke samman mein, NSUI maidan mein” (NSUI has come out to work for the students), “Hum apna adhikar mangte, nahi kisise bheek mangte” (we ask for out rights, but refuse to beg), and “University humare-aapki, nahi kisike baap ki” (this university is ours, not any familial property).
In the hunger strike wherein senior members of the NSUI like Akshay Lakra and Anushesh Sharma were present, the gathering demanded the setup of a central library which would be open 24 hours of the day, u-special buses in campus for DU students, fee reduction of the Delhi School of Journalism, and special metro concessional passes for DU students.
It is noteworthy that until 2013, a number of University buses were plying to cater to DU students. But now, there is not a single u-special bus. As such, students of far-flung colleges such as Shyamlal College and Vivekananda College have been forced to use private cabs which dig a hole into their pockets. This also affects the safety of girls studying in colleges like Aditi Mahavidyalaya as they are forced to risk their lives and travel alone.
On being asked about their third demand by DU Beat, NSUI Delhi President Akshay Lakra reasoned, “Delhi Metro fare has almost doubled in the past 1.5 years. In October last year, I along with two NSUI activists Shauryaveer Singh and Arjun Chaprana were compelled to jump into the metro tracks in a protest to attract the attention of the government. But till date, nothing has progressed on that front.”
Speaking further on their fourth demand, Akshay Lakra asserted that the high fees for the Delhi School of Journalism symbolises defacto privatisation and hence needs to be reduced.
On being asked whether there has been any response from the authorities’ side, NSUI National Secretary Anushesh Sharma said, “We have tried to contact the VC and the Dean of DU, but they have ignored our demands. When we put forth our demand of a 24/7 centralized library, they ignored the same on the premise of security and budget excuses. Hence we will continue to strive for the students until our demands are fulfilled.”
Feature Image Credits: Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak for DU Beat
Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak