Published: 24th September 2019
Law students of HPNLU on strike for a week because they have no water or clean loos
The students of the university have been protesting for a week now. The administration has shut down the university until September 25
We write this letter as our future lies in a dark abyss due to the ignorant attitude of the management towards the demands of students. So, we have come forth in solidarity, not to protest, but to reasonably demand that the inexplicably obtuse administration of this University comes forth with answers to these pressing issues," reads a letter sent by the students of Himachal Pradesh National Law University, Shimla. For the past week, they have been protesting against the administration. Their demands are nothing unachievable but are the basic amenities that most students have access to.
The students allege that the university does not provide basic facilities to them like clean drinking water, mess, proper lighting, clean toilets, laundry and internet. "Our annual fee here comes up to Rs 2,60,000. So, naturally, we'd expect that we get good food, have a decent place to stay and have a well-equipped library. But here, we have nothing," says a Praveen*, I year BBA LLB student. "On top of this, we pay Rs 9,000 for WiFi. But there is no WiFi here," he adds. The university is now closed until September 25.
Another problem raised by the student is the denial of scholarships. "The University Administration has failed to exercise due care while addressing an issue of utmost importance vis-a-vis the grant of Scholarships to the students eligible to avail the same by their respective State Governments," reads the letter. Student accounts tell us that the university administration has not updated the scholarship portal for a year now.
The university does not have a democratically elected students' body and this is another demand that the students have raised. "There are various NLUs, which have their Student Body Associations and are functioning very well and efficiently such as NLUO, Cuttack, RMLNLU, Lucknow, NUJS, Kolkata, NLSIU, Bangalore, NUSRL, Ranchi and many others. Therefore, we deem this demand to be reasonable and hence the authorities must provide us with the utmost appropriate solution for the same," they say.
The students also say that their professors who moonlight as wardens. This is another arrangement that the students want to be changed. Here's their reason. "The students who raise their voice are often told by the wardens that they'll be failed. This has happened many times," says Praveen.
Previously the students had staged a protest in March to demand clarity in the fee structure.
*Name changed on request