As colleges step up to help; students forced to come to each other's rescue

As colleges step up to help; students forced to come to each others rescue

New delhi: With colleges in Delhi University stepping up to help students struggling with fees and online classes due to a lack of devices, students from different colleges at the university said that the number of such students is too large.

While many student groups have themselves started donation drives and helped students with fees and providing them with devices, they said that it is still difficult for them to reach out to many.

Surya Prakash, a student at Delhi University was perplexed when the deadline to pay the fees was near but he had no money. "My father lost his business post-covid and so did my mother, so basically we have zero income coming in. My fee is a mere Rs 5,000, but when we are surviving on our savings then even this amount looks like a burden. I was afraid of being held a year back due to this," he told Millennium Post.

Prakash somehow manages to attend classes through his smartphone but is in dire need of a laptop. "Paying the fee was the main concern, rest I will somehow manage," he added.

On Prakash's last deadline of paying the fee, students from St. Stephens helped him. "We have received and continue to receive a lot of requests for those. However, we are facing difficulties finding donors who are willing to donate devices. We have a few budget laptops in the list and if donors could bear the amount, they could directly transfer funds to the beneficiaries' address," Susan, a student from the college said.

The staff association at St. Stephens had also written to the principal numbering some suggestions to which the principal Prof John Varghese had said, "The College and every working part of the College administration/community have only the interest of the students at heart. The College administration, including the Principal and the Bursar, are most accessible and in fact, a recent communication by the Bursar also bears out the fact that some student issues pertaining to fees have been addressed. There has been no instance where a student has ever been turned away for want of funds; in fact, the administration has only sought ways and means to ensure that our students face no problems, especially when it comes to academics."

But even as DU's college authorities have affirmed that they have started taking measures including having one-on-one interactions with students to ensure their mental wellness to provide fee support, internet data cards and laptops to those in need, many students have said they did not receive help from their respective colleges.

"When I told them my problems, I was told to try and manage the fee, but was not provide any relief," Prakash added.

Susan said that they alone had close to 100 cases where the student was having trouble paying fees or had no device to attend classes. After the shocking death of Aishwarya, a student of the Lady Sri Ram (LSR) College for Women and an IAS aspirant, who was found hanging at her Shadnagar house in Telangana's Ranga Reddy district on November 2. In a suicide note, the 19-year-old said she did not want to burden her parents with her educational expenses, police said.

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