Published: 11th November 2022
SAU: Students stage additional "begging" protest; indefinite hunger strike continues
The students are demanding that the stipend for the master's scholars be increased to Rs 7,000 from the existing Rs 5,000
The South Asian University (SAU) is still witnessing protests from students who demand that stipends be increased for students pursuing their master's. Yesterday, November 10, they resorted to a unique form of agitation — a begging protest.
About 30-40 students sat in front of the main entrance of their college with begging bowls and asked all the passers-by to donate some funds for their stipends. "The administration said that they did not have funds to increase our stipends. So we decided to collect it ourselves," said Keshav Sawarn, an MA Sociology student.
He added that they collected a few thousand rupees during the two to three hours of their begging protest and submitted the amount to the Finance Department. Keshav also alleged that the President, Vice-President and two faculty members came to their protest site and met them. "But they refused to increase the amount and asked us to end our hunger strike."
The indefinite hunger strike
Eight students from the university are on an indefinite hunger strike since November 7. Keshav says that the health of two students became critical due to fasting and they were taken to the hospital on the night of November 9. "They are fine now, but their health is delicate and we may have to take them to the hospital again, if needed," he said.
The students want the stipend for the master's scholars to be increased to Rs 7,000 from the existing Rs 5,000. They additionally demand freeships for some sections of the students who are financially weak and are also asking for the formation of a student representation body. They have been protesting over these demands for almost a month now.