Northeast students’ safety and accommodation concerns have found prominence in the agenda for Delhi University Students' Union elections this year.
While all major students' groups have promised security and end of discrimination against such students in their manifestos, AkhilBharatiyaVidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has said that it will provide two hostels for boys and girls from the region if it wins. In its manifesto, which was released on Monday, the student group has also listed a canteen which will serve delicacies from Northeast India. However, ABVP will also release a separate manifesto for students from the region.
ABVP's main manifesto has mentioned a five-point agenda, including "effective working of Northeast cells in all colleges and meeting of nodal officers, a boys' hostel and a girls' hostel to be built immediately for students from this region and special programmes in the campus to showcase cultural heritage of the region," said RohitChahal, national secretary, ABVP.
The special focus on students from Northeast India comes after a spurt in incidents of discrimination against them. ABVP launched a cell for Northeast students—Arunoday—which at present is working for these students across colleges. The cell is coming up with a separate manifesto for DUSU elections.
"In this manifesto, we are demanding that study of Northeast society, its culture, tradition and heritage, be included in the NCERT syllabus immediately. We also want that the medium of instruction for such students should not be bilingual... if they are from an English background, they should be taught in English. We demand that the various students' groups from the Northeast be allowed to use facilities like Shankar Lal Hall free of cost or at a subsidized rate for their freshersprogrammes as Rs 35,000 is too steep a price. Moreover, many students coming from this region are very good sportspersons and they have to suffer due to lack of sporting facilities. We, if elected, promise to open the university stadium to them," said SaketBahuguna, Delhi state secretary, ABVP.