Published: 24th September 2019
BHU students go on hunger strike for better hostel facilities and sexual harassment cell
The administration has not yet responded to the protesting students who have pledged to continue the hunger strike till their demands are met, in any way
The Bhagat Singh Chhatra Morcha (BCM), a student organisation in Banaras Hindu University, is on an indefinite hunger strike demanding the reinstatement of a Students' Union better hostel facilities and library privileges. They also submitted a memorandum to the Vice-Chancellor with a list of 11 demands related to students' issues. While five students are on hunger strike many more have joined them in the sit-in.
The students have asked for hostel facilities for everyone, an increase in the number seats in the library to 1,000 and keep it open 24x7 for the students, implementation of Gender Sensitization Committee against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) on campus, along with more and better toilets for women across departments. They also asked for 24x7 open canteens, clean water and other basic demands of the students. "The BHU administration paid no attention to our demands. So we, the students of BHU, are forced to go on a hunger strike. We appeal to all the students, professors and citizens to support us in this struggle. We will continue the hunger strike till our demands are met," said Vishwanath, Vice-President of BCM and a third-year student of Sociology at the university.
The students asked for the abolition of curfew timings in women hostels, sanitary pad vending machines to be installed on campus and an EOC (Equal opportunity cell) to be constituted for students with disabilities to provide for their necessities — academic or otherwise. We also demand that the administration restores the Students Union, Employees Union and Teachers Association. They should also arrange for canteen facilities in all the female hostels along with subsidised mess and canteens of all hostels," said a statement by the BCM. "In the new hostel, the allocation of more than 2 girls in one room should be stopped. We also demand that only the non-academic staff be appointed in women hostels in all the posts including that of the warden," it further added.