Published: 07th February 2021
After govt reduces fee for RMMCH, Erode Govt Medical College students launch protest with same demands
When RMMCH managed to find success after their 58-day protest, the Erode Medical College students also launched their protest
After the Tamil Nadu government issued a Goverment Order to Rajah Muthiah Medical College and Hospital fixing their fees to match those of government medical colleges and bringing the college under the Health and Family Welfare Department, the Erode Medical College students also began to demand the same. The Erode Medical College, formerly IRT Perundurai Medical College was taken over by the government in 2019 and ever since the students have been demanding that they be charged the same fees as a regular government medical college.
In their protest, the RMMCH also demanded that justice be done to Erode Medical College students as well. When RMMCH managed to find success after their 58-day protest, the Erode Medical College students also launched their protest. In 2020, final years were paying 2.8 lakh per year and their juniors were paying 3.85 lakh per year. A regular government college in any other part of Tamil Nadu charges about 13,600 rupees as college fees.
On Saturday, the students gathered outside the gates of their University and demanded that the government intervene and issue a GO with a new fee structure. The Tamil Nadu Medical Students Association in a statement claimed that the students had been assured of a GO issued in their favour within a week and also thanked the government for the decision, "We've been told by the Health Secreatry that they will issue an order within ten days," a member of the TNMSA said.
One of the parents of a student from the college who had been at the forefront of the campaign for fee reduction said that the protestors had been told that something positive would come out of their protests. “We heard that the Health Minister is looking into the issue. The Collector also told the students that they will receive the GO in the few weeks and that everyone is working out a solution. However, we have decided to meet the Health Minister personally on Monday,” the parent said.
In a letter to the Chief Minister in 2020, the students had said that many who join the college came from very poor backgrounds, from rural areas and were the sons and daughters of farmers and therefore, cannot afford to pay the fees. “Passing NEET itself is a huge hurdle and even after they manage to crack that, they have to worry about being able to afford these fees,” the students said. The administration had then told the students that the matter is out of their hands and that it is up to the government and that they are only following the guidelines that the state has set for them.