Sunday, February 25, 2024

Delhi polls: Safety of women, job key issues for DU students


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New Delhi: Corruption, safety of women and employment are likely to be the main issues on the minds of Delhi University students while casting their votes in the December 4 Assembly elections.
Student outfits are leaving no stone unturned to ensure a high voter turnout by the students despite the exam season.
Students of DU, considered a cauldron of young minds from across the country, are eagerly waiting for the poll day as most of them would be voting for the first time.
DU students said corruption, unemployment, high food prices and safety of women were as much their concern as of those outside the university campus and that they want the contesting parties to seriously address their issues. Karishma Thakur, Secretary of Delhi University Students’ Union, said safety of girls on the campus was definitely a huge concern among the students. “Safety of girls is definitely an issue that is top priority for students. Whichever party convinces that they can provide the best security arrangements in campus will get students’ support. “I believe there should be more lady constables in the campus. Also a women’s cell should be formed,” she said.
“The kind of employment opportunities that parties promise to students passing out of Delhi University will also be a huge deciding factor. The next step for students after education is job, and that’s their biggest priority,” Thakur said.
In fact, employment and safety of women students were also top issues of various student outfits during this year’s DUSU polls. NSUI, of which Thakur was a candidate in DUSU polls, had even organised a job fair in the university in June this year when it was in power in DUSU.
The BJP affiliated ABVP, which was voted into office in this year’s DUSU polls, also had employment and women safety as its top priorities.
On the issue of fighting graft, ABVP’s Delhi state vice-president Rohit Chahal says, “Corruption is something that affects every one of us including the students. It is as much a campus issue as a national one. “High prices too have made students life difficult. Several out-station students are struggling to meet even their basic needs given the high rates of everything around us. Even the college fee has increased drastically.”
With the possibility of ongoing semester exams likely to affect the student turn out in the December 4 polls, various student outfits along with DUSU are making best possible efforts to ensure that the entire DU student population, eligible to vote, participates in the polling.
Bike rallies, community meetings and seminars are being organised to exhort the students to come out and vote on the D-day. “DUSU has received over 10,000 sankalp patras in which students have taken oath to vote in the coming elections. “Bike rallies and other events are among out efforts to appeal to students to come out and vote,” DUSU President Aman Awana said.
Noting that DUSU had also organised a voter registration campaign under which several camps were organised, Awana said, “Volunteers have been selected at every college to motivate students to come out and vote. Students believe that youth play a significant role in deciding who will govern them and, therefore, it is important for them to choose the right candidate. “It is important that we try to know who the candidates are in the constituency we vote in. There will be no difference between DU students and a man who has been bribed by political parties if we cast our vote blindly,” Namita, a second year student at Kamala Nehru College, said.
“The candidate needs to be honest, hardworking and approachable to the people in the constituency,” she added.
According to a survey carried out among 1,000 DU students by research agency Market Xcel Data Matrix, the main considerations for students while making their choice are the ideology of the candidate (67 pc), his party (59 pc) and whether he/she is a crowd puller (57 pc).
Candidate’s background (52 pc), credentials (48 pc) and past work performance (41 pc) were among the other factors that would be taken into account.
Interestingly, although 72 per cent of students who participated in the survey want to play an active role in creating awareness about the importance of voting, only a small percentage wants to actually be a part of the mainstream politics.
Eighty-six per cent of students said they do not see politics as a career option.
The 14 per cent who were keen to get into politics said young leaders personify energy, enthusiasm, morality, and diligence and that they could put forth youth’s issues better. (PTI)


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