In her suicide note, she said she did not want to be a burden on her family and did not want a life without education.
On November 3, a student of Lady Shri Ram College for Women in Delhi died by suicide, after she failed to receive an instalment of her scholarship that was due in March. She was resident of Rangareddy district in Telangana and had. She had topped in the state in class 12 examination and had mortgaged her house to fund her higher education.
A mathematics student at Delhi’s prestigious LSR college, Aishwarya could not afford her education. In her suicide note, she said she did not want to be a burden on her family and did not want a life without education. Protests have since erupted demanding justice for her and her death has been labelled as “institutional murder”.
According to the statement issued by the Student’s Federation of India (SFI), Aishwarya was receiving the INSPIRE scholarship from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. the scholarship, however, was callously delayed by the government since March, putting her and her family under extreme financial pressure.
LSR students’ union Committee for Inclusive Education was told by Aishwarya that she did not have a proper internet connection for online classes, which had already placed an extra financial burden on her family owing to expenditure on data packs. She could not give her best to her studies as she did not have a laptop and study material was not available to her, she said.
“The Committee has repeatedly sent emails to the LSR administration, but all in vain as they did not receive any fruitful response. Plus, the delay in scholarship points to the apathy of the central government towards hardworking students from such backgrounds,” the co-convener of the committee Lekshmi said, News18 reported.
Unnimaya, the Student Union General Secretary of LSR, issued a statement after ascertaining the facts about Aishwarya’s death saying that the student was also affected by the sudden decision of the LSR administration to revoke hostel facilities for all students except freshers. She said, “The college administration should answer for the steps they take without regard for their impact.”
“It was allegedly conveyed to her that the scholarship amount could only come after the conclusion of the second year. The UGC and other agencies have failed to provide scholarships and cited the pandemic as an excuse for the same. Hence a retrospective scholarship promise, at an uncertain date when the student availing it needs it the most now, is an act of deliberate negligence and insensitivity,” her statement read.
Pointing out that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has frozen disbursal of Junior Research Fellowships (JRF) and Senior Research Fellowships (SRF) as well, several organisations have condemned the incident.
“This amounts to institutional murder. LSR and DST are complicit and should be held to account,” the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) said in a statement.
HW News maintains that coping skills, support, and treatment are proven to be helpful to people who’ve thought of suicide.
Everyone deserves a second chance at life and so do you. Here are some helpline numbers if you are having similar thoughts. Talk it out.
Mumbai: The Samaritans, Mumbai- +91 84229 84528 / +91 84229 84529 / +91 84229 84530
India: AASRA- +91-9820466726