Published: 16th February 2018
#RollBackMetroFareHike: Delhi students hit colleges to collect signatures to petition Prez Kovind
The fight has been on for two months now. It is certain that the students are exhausted with the requests falling on deaf ears but they clearly aren't in the mood to back off
What do you do when the government isn't rolling back the Delhi Metro fares? If you're from DU, then you take it to the President. Since early 2018, an intensified campaign demanding the #RollBackMetroFareHike has surfaced on the Delhi University campus. Taking this forward, one lakh students of Delhi are set to write a mail to President of India Ram Nath Kovind.
The signature campaign started on Thursday and will run up to an event called #ChaloRashtrapatiBhavan (Let's go to President's resident) that is scheduled to be held on February 27, 2018. So far the response has been overwhelming. "It's just been a day and we have over 2K signatures from the students from various campuses," Kawalpreet Kaur, Student of Law at DU and flagbearer of the movement anticipates the success of the campaign.
Covering it all: To keep the movement alive on the campuses, students rallies have been launched in all four zones of Delhi
They have been holding protests and marches at stations and colleges to get the necessary signatures, "First, the students had occupied Vishwavidyala Metro Station, then a delegation of students of over 30 colleges met the Delhi CM, after that the students in DU were joined by Jamia (Milia Islamia University), JNU and Ambedkar University as they broke the barricades and met the PMO. All this didn't work so we want the President to use his rights and help the students of the country," she says.
Interestingly, the movement is mostly offline and the large numbers are what the campaigners are looking for. "The volunteers are visiting colleges and getting the signatures personally. The letter is in the form of a postcard that addresses the President of India. However, a part of the campaign is digital as we would like to reach out to a whole lot of students," Kawalpreet says.
The campaign, as it grows, is not just about the fare and has promised to address the harassment issues in the metro. Drawing a link between metro fare hike and women safety, Kawalpreet says, "It is also about accessing university spaces and safe public transportation in Delhi. We have seen the constant harassment that women in Delhi face while travelling on buses — the metro offered a safe option but the hike has only reduced the ability of women to travel by the metro."
To keep the movement alive on the campuses, students rallies have been launched in all four zones of Delhi. While the first rally covered all colleges in West Delhi on Thursday, the second one is covering all colleges in North Delhi on Friday. On Monday, over 15 colleges in Kalkaji will be covered and South Delhi will be taken care of on Tuesday.