Hundreds Of Students March Across Delhi To Raise Their Voice For Their Right To Education And Employment
- IWB Post
- February 8, 2019
On Thursday, Uttarakhand’s Snigdha Tiwari and Gujarat’s Koena Lahiri joined hundreds of students and youth from all over the country for The Young India Adhikar March from Jama Masjid in Old Delhi to Jantar Mantar in central Delhi. Why? To raise their voice for the right to education and employment.
The march was led by students from Jawaharlal Nehru University and the All India Students’ Association and Revolutionary Youth Association. The agenda of the march was to appeal to the government to fill all government vacancies, increase the public spending on education to 10% of India’s GDP and the full implementation of reservations for backward groups. Their demands also included an end to the closures of schools, the underfunding of public education, stop gender discrimination and sexual harassment in higher education as well as to do away with the hold Hindutva forces have on higher and lower education.
The participants of the march were from states like Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Punjab, and Assam and had their set of demands and concerns.
Like Snigdha, head of the Almora branch of the Uttarakhand Students’ Organisation, was mainly concerned about education. Her organization had been protesting against the mergers of state schools in Uttarakhand.
“Some are being merged with Shishu Mandirs [run by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a Hindutva organization to which the BJP is affiliated],” she alleged. “And there is no infrastructure even for primary education. In this instance, I think it is important for all students to be united. The government is privatizing public sector education. They do not want us to study so they can fool us and make us fight against each other. If citizens are educated, they will be in trouble.”
For 29-year-old Koena Lahiri, a research scholar in international politics at the Central University of Gujarat, she believes that making reserved category appointments in higher education “impacts the university and it impacts the academic culture”.
“We might not understand the benefits that come from diversity and in Gujarat, the condition of the social sciences is already terrible,” said Lahiri. “Many of Gujarat’s cities are among the most polluted in the country, private education is flourishing but not public education. I am a Ph.D. student but I do not think I will get a job.”