Delhi University colleges step ahead in making an effort to provide financial aid, laptops, and data cards to the students amid the exceptional situation of the pandemic COVID-19.
These steps were put forward by the DU affiliated colleges, when an LSR student allegedly committed suicide over the financial crisis in continuing her further education.
Lady Shri Ram College Principal Suman Sharma said that the administration of the college has decided to reduce the tuition fee for a few courses, along with forming a group of committee members to provide laptops and data cards to the students. Besides, the 2nd-year students are also permitted to stay in the college hostels.
Due to being off-campus, Some of the students aren't able to avail certain facilities of the college, and so the administration, this year has withdrawn such charges, which has led to the reduction in the fee. Also, the students will now be able to pay the fee in installments, she added.
In the view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the college will now allow the 2nd-year students to reside in hostels based on the need. However, the commitments to present 3rd-year students and the upcoming 1st-year students have already been met at the hostel, she said.
Principal at Miranda House Bijaylaxmi Nanda said that the college administration is trying to facilitate the students by providing internet data packs as it may be a burden on them due to the online classes.
Nanda said that the college has been constant steps in providing the students with the facilities they need. However, now the college will increase its efforts and focus on one-on-one interactions.
Therefore, the college will not just offer financial support but will also provide internet data cards that will help them to attend the online classes, she said.
The staff association president at St Stephen's college, Nandita Narain said that they've sought help from the college to set up a committee that will reach out to the students facing a financial crisis.
Many of the students from the college are genuinely struggling to attend the online classes and difficulty in paying the fees amid the Covid-19 crisis, she said.
Further, she added that the students from the college are approaching the faculty members for help to obtain devices to attend the online classes and paying the fees. Also, there may be students who have not yet reached out.
The principal of Shri Ram College Of Commerce, Simrit Kaur said that the students have been seeking scholarships and laptops from the college administration, since the start of lockdown.
She said that the college has been eventually helping each of the students with the facilities they need. Also, the faculty members are providing round-the-clock counselling services to the students who are facing any kind of problem.
DU Colleges started to initiate the facilities when one of the students from LSR college, Aishwarya, who was pursuing 2nd-year BSc Maths (Hons) allegedly committed suicide on November 2, in Telangana.
As per the reports, she had mentioned in her suicide note that she didn't want to burden her parents with her educational expenses.
Aishwarya had returned to Telangana from Delhi in March 2020, after the lockdown was implemented due to the outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19, and the students staying in the hostels were asked to move out and go back to their respective houses.
In the view of COVID-19 circumstances, Delhi University Colleges were shut down in March 2020, and all the learning, teaching activities were shifted to online mode since then.