New Delhi: A 19-year-old student of the Lady Shri Ram (LSR) College for Women in Delhi from Telangana has allegedly ended her life at her residence in Telangana’s Shadnagar, owing to the family’s poor financial condition, her parents and police said on Monday. Also Read - Delhi University Colleges To Provide Fee Support, Data Cards, Laptops To Help Students
A second-year BSc (Honours) in Mathematics student, Aishwarya Reddy, was worried about her family not being able to support her education due to which she had taken the extreme step on November 2. She was rushed to a hospital by her parents but declared brought dead, police said, quoting a complaint filed by her father. Also Read - 'Why Are Cut-Offs So High in Delhi', Asks Kejriwal, Seeks Amendment in DU Act For Establishing New Colleges
A case under section 174 CrPC (unnatural death) has been registered, said police. Also Read - Ace Indian Shooter Manu Bhaker Secures Seat For Political Science in LSR
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Aishwarya had returned to her hometown from Delhi in March this year after the college administration asked the students staying in hostel to go home. In a suicide note purportedly written by her, the teenager wrote, “Nobody is responsible for my death. My family is incurring a lot of expenses. I am a burden… My education is a burden… I cannot live without education.”
Aishwarya, who was awarded INSPIRE merit scholarship by the Department of Science & Technology, also mentioned that it needed “to be released for at least one year”.
Her father, Srinivas Reddy, who earns his living as a vehicle mechanic told ANI, “I am blessed with two daughters, my elder daughter Aishwarya Reddy, aged 19 years, was an IAS aspirant and was taking IAS coaching in Delhi at LSR, due to poor financial conditions she was upset. She required a big amount to go to Delhi as I did not have that much amount I informed her that I will get the amount through a loan due to which she was distraught. On November 2, at around 8:30 pm she went to her room for reading and committed suicide by hanging herself with a saree.”
To support Aishwarya’s ambitions, he had discontinued his younger daughters education, he said. Speaking to mediapersons, Reddy said that since she required a laptop or phone for attending online studies, they had also sent a message to actor Sonu Sood, who had helped several needy people during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“But there was no reply from him… The college administration also said hostel facility will be given only for one year,” the father said.
Following the incident, a group of students and women staged a protest in the national capital demanding justice for Aishwarya. While members of the Congress-affiliated National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) protested outside the residence of Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, the Left-affiliated All India Students ‘Association (AISA) staged an agitation outside the Delhi University’s Arts Faculty.
According to the police, seven NSUI members were also detained for a few hours and a case was registered against them under the Disaster Management Act.
NSUI national secretary Lokesh Chugh said, “Scholarships are to reward a student’s academic achievement and educational prowess. Be it while starting your career or studying in high school to grow new abilities, receiving a scholarship is a prominent achievement. The Indian education system begets issues in it. One of the major issues is the increase in the cost of college, school and university fees.”
“The student from Telangana committed suicide after being denied scholarship for over a year by the government. She had written to the administration about the problems she was facing but unfortunately, received no response from the authorities. This is just a recent example of how imperative scholarships are for students. When the government delays the provision of funds to students, it puts them and their families under immense pressure,” he added.
LSR principal Suman Sharma, however, denied that the student had reached out to the college authorities.
“We have a counsellor at the college to help students if they are facing any challenges emotionally or mentally. However, nobody knew about her state of mind. It is unfortunate, we wish she had reached out either to her teachers or the counsellor or anybody in the college,” she said.
(With Agency Inputs)