Even after continuous protests for reopening the University of Delhi, no action has been taken. The protests have been paused in consideration of the COVID-19 breakdown, however, the movement is expected to continue.
The Student Federation of India (SFI) along with the All India Students’ Association (AISA) and other progressive student organisations gathered at the Arts Faculty, Delhi University on 3rd January 2021. They led protest vows to continue and take the re-open campus movement forward until the demands are met by the administration. Considering the COVID-19 outbreak, a peak rise in cases in the capital city leading to several restrictions, the indefinite protest and strike have been paused.
The “Indefinite Sit in” protest’s conclusion was marked by the birth anniversary of revolutionary Savitribai Phule who was a revolutionary and contributed to the promotion of education for girls. The long and endless protest for reopening the campus lasted for 56 days with no tangible response and measure assured by the administration. By addressing the gathering, the SFI Secretary of the Miranda House unit emphasised the ignorance of the administration and the technical jargon faced by many students from different parts of the country.
The DU administration does not want to reopen the campus even as the COVID-19 situation was improving in Delhi. Whenever the DU-VC gave statements to re-open the campus, no interest was seen by the administration afterwards. They are forcing students to be the victim of the “digital divide” as there is a larger section of students that do not have proper internet access and digital gadgets to take online classes. We will keep fighting against the DU administration to reopen the campus alive.Aarushi Sharma, SFI Secretary of the Miranda House Unit.
A memorandum regarding the same was submitted to the Delhi University Vice-Chancellor. A 5 member delegation submitted the memorandum, wherein Anagha Pavitran was also a part of the same.
AISA DU General Secretary also addressed the gathering and talked about how the campuses have not been reopened even after constant strikes and efforts made by the students’ associations.
UNICEF says schools and colleges should be the first to reopen and the last to close. However, we just see the opposite being followed. Even when the COVID-19 situation was in control, they did not open the University then. We have asked and questioned about their unpreparedness, but all in vain. We even submitted so many memorandums regarding the same, but no action has been taken.Ritwik, AISA DU General Secretary.
The protest is going to see a pause on a humaratian basis, but the student associations promise to continue the movement as soon as the situation gets better in Delhi. The movement wishes to resist the undemocratic, authoritarian mandate of the DU administration and highlights its unpreparedness. They demand re-opening of the campus on a priority basis as in when the situation is favourable. Also, the administration should acknowledge the lack of internet access, gadgets and efficiency that comes with online classes and work on the same.
Feature Image Credits: SFI