On November 12, at 11 a.m., the LSR Student Body along with other organizations like AISA and KYS collected outside the gates of Lady Shri Ram College demanding justice for Aishwarya Reddy.
The past week has seen an uproar by students of Delhi University on Social Mediaraising issues of the exclusivity of education following the death of Aishwarya Reddy – which has been labeled an “institutional murder”.
“The institutional murder of Aishwarya Reddy was not an individual instance, many students from marginalised communities have been forced to take their lives, and no one but the college authorities, educational structures, UGC, and the ministry are to be held responsible and accountable for the same.”Unnimaya, General Secretary LSR SU
The LSR Student Body gathered outside the college protesting against institutional injustice. Around 20 students were gathered including representatives from AISA, KYS, Pinjra Tod, SFI, and Ambedkar University. There was heavy police and media presence according to what was reported by some of the students attending the protest. The protest was convened by LSRSU.
“The protest at LSR on 12th November, to seek justice for Aishwarya Reddy, started with a rather scant student populace. However, on the other hand, around 60+ police personnel and 2 layers of barricades blocking the college main gate dominated the space.”Shreya Kaul, 2nd Year, Lady Shri Ram College
The demands that were made were in the context of a larger fight against inaccessibility of education. Among others, these demands included the distribution of data packs and tablets, Formation of a committee to look into solutions for the exclusion faced by socially and economically backward students, revoking of the rule that disallows hostellers to take part in protests, hostels for all students and an extension for assignment submission deadlines.
The burning of the Hostel notice for evacuation – which included the College asking the students to vacate their Hostel Rooms amidst a Pandemic – also took place. As the protest gained pace, eight students were called inside college by the LSR Admin to discuss these issues.
The principal agreed to few demands like the extension of the internal assessment deadline,revocation of Clause 1, and making available 2 counsellors online throughout the week. However, responses to other demands seemed “ambiguous” according to the Students’ Union. Recently the LSR Admin had also reached out to the students by sending out a mail to the student body alerting them about the scholarships and freeships offered by the college.
“However, it’ll be a massive challenge to sustain this protest and not become complacent. The challenges are multi-pronged, with a pandemic out there, and the cause of the protest being a sensitive issue, it’s difficult to mobilize people. Boycotting classes, mass e-mailing & contributing to the student’s relief fund are alternative options to participate, and equally important ones. Students must express their solidarity and stand up for this cause which is extremely personal for our community, especially for the students of LSR.”Shreya Kaul, 2nd Year Lady Shri Ram College
Image Credits – Deccan Herald