(Reproduced from Mazdoor Ekta Lehar, 1 Mar 2019)
Over 5,000 students, marched from Ramlila Maidan to Parliament Street in Delhi, on 18th February, demanding jobs and an end to privatization of education.
Students and youth from Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Tripura and many other states participated in the march. The Students’ Federation of India (SFI), All India Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO), Progressive Students’ Union (PSU), All India Students Bloc (AISB) and All India Students Federation (AISF) were among the organizations taking part in the protest action.
Students pointed out that the cutback in state expenditure on education and the intensified drive towards privatisation of education has led to enormous fee hikes and the mushrooming of private institutions and courses charging exorbitant fees. This is forcing many students from working class families to drop out of higher education.
Students presented their eight-point charter of demands, including a free Common Education System for all from KG to PG, 10% of budget allocation for education, implementation of reservation, release of all pending scholarships and more fellowships for research scholars from marginalised sections, guaranteed employment to all, safety and security of women, etc.
Earlier, on February 7, hundreds of youth and students from different parts of the country marched from Lal Kila to Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, in the “Young India Adhikar March”. They protested against the growing unemployment and failure of the present government in fulfilling its promises to the youth. They demanded guaranteed employment and education for all.