Indefinite Hunger Strike by AISA at Daltonganj

ALL India Students Association (AISA) began an indefinite hunger strike from 29 October 2019 in front of the Daltonganj Collectorate in Palamu District to demand extension of the post-Matric scholarship application date. It should be remembered that earlier also AISA had met officials of the Welfare Department on this issue. A march had been organized from the University to the Collectorate on 3 October. At that time the date for applications had been extended by a few days. Again on 24 October hundreds of students led by AISA met officials of the Welfare Department but many students were unable to have their certificates made due to the Revenue Department staff.

Speaking at the hunger strike, AISA District President Divya Bhagat said that the new education policy is depriving students of their rights. Further, the Jharkhand government is keeping students out of education itself by making scholarship cuts. Students are facing many problems in filling the online forms for scholarships given by the Welfare Department. Students are unable to get bona-fide as well as income, caste, and domicile certificates made due to the strike by Revenue staff and the delay in publication of college results. Many are unable to fill the post-Matric scholarship online application forms on time, and thus many SC/ST/OBC/Minority students are being deprived of scholarships as they cannot afford the fees for higher education. Apart from this, there are many other problems in colleges and hostels.

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The demands of the students are as follows: extend the post-Matric scholarship date till January 2020 and publish the results of Nilambar Pitambar University on time so that the students can attach the result in their online applications; various courses in this University which are running late should be regularized and made timely; hostels that are constructed and ready should be started without delay so that students can get the benefit; if Revenue officials are on strike, camps should be held to prepare domicile, caste and income certificates; scholarships have been regularly cut since 2016, the scholarships should be increased to include incidental expenses of students along with full fees; there are students living illegally in hostels for many years which prevents needy students from getting place in the hostels, therefore illegal students should be removed without delay from the hostels; regular medical examination of hostel students should be done and ambulance and library facilities should be made available in each hostel without delay.

All the above demands were submitted to the Governor through the Welfare Officer and Deputy Commissioner. The Revenue staff strike ended only recently and many students were unable to have their certificates prepared on time. The government deliberately gave a short time-lime for filling of forms so that fewer students apply and the budget for the scholarships could be reduced.

Participating in the hunger strike are AISA State Secretary Trilokinath, State Joint Secretary Ijhar Ali Haider, Palamu Secretary Ranjit Kumar, Palamu Joint Secretary Danish Shaikh and Roshan Kumar. The AISA leaders said that students would not tolerate the anti-student policies of the Raghuvar government and the struggle would be sharpened and strengthened until the demands of the students are fulfilled.

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