Aishwarya Reddy (19), a second-year student of LSR College for Women, committed suicide on November 2 at her Telangana home. Her family couldn't afford a laptop for her to attend online classes.
The Staff Association of St Stephen’s College has written to the principal asking him to set up a committee “to consider the needs of students for financial support and disburse all scholarships, financial aid and bursaries urgently”.
“Some of our students are facing genuine difficulties in accessing online classes and in paying fees. Some faculty members have been receiving requests from students for help with both fee payment and obtaining devices to attend online classes. We fear there are many more students out there who haven’t yet reached out. There has been a very tragic case of a student of a DU college committing suicide as a result of the financial distress and lack of institutional support,” staff association president Nandita Narain wrote Thursday.
Aishwarya Reddy (19), a second-year student of LSR College for Women, committed suicide on November 2 at her Telangana home. Her family couldn’t afford a laptop for her to attend online classes.
“The staff association would like to request you to set up a committee comprising heads of all 11 courses taught in college to consider needs of students for financial support and disburse all scholarships, financial aid and bursaries urgently. The college may come out with a notification on its website inviting applications from interested students,” Narain said.
A resolution in this regard was taken in a Staff Association meeting on November 17.
The Association also said some students may need technical and infrastructural support from college. “Some years ago, Delhi University had sent a large number of laptops to each college for use by students and faculty. If some of them are still functional, they could be made available to students in need.
“Applications can be invited from students for laptops and they can be sent to their place of stay by courier. Requiring students to come to Delhi to collect these devices would not be advisable…,” wrote Narain.
While Principal John Varghese did not respond to queries, Bursar Renish Abraham said he would have to check if the email was received from the staff association. Asked if laptops could be distributed, he said, “We used to issue laptops to students while they were on campus, but now, since laptops are provided by the university, I don’t think we can send it to their residence… Probably we need to have a policy on this. I’m not sure how we’re going to go about it now. If we get a representation, we will consider it.”
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