Memorandum submitted at Revenue Divisional Commissioner’s office

Activists of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) held a demonstration in the city on Monday asking the State government to provide some respite to the students studying in the colleges of Phailin-hit Ganjam district.

They took out a rally which culminated at the office of the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), southern division, where they submitted a memorandum with their charter of six demands. A copy of the memorandum was also sent to the office of the Chief Minister. Sudipta Ranjan Raut, president of the students’ union of Khallikote Autonomous College, along with several other students of the premier educational institution of south Odisha also took part in the demonstration. SFI State general secretary Sarat Kumar Das and its city unit head Bijay Raita led the demonstration.

Through the memorandum, the SFI activists pointed out that the Phailin cyclone and the consequent floods devastated the economy of most inhabitants of Ganjam district. The natural calamity also caused extensive damage to the buildings of schools and colleges in the district including Berhampur University campus.

Exemption sought

The demonstrators were of the opinion that parents of most students in Ganajm district were severely affected by the natural calamity which also shattered their economic condition. “It would be quite hard for these parents to pay the tuition and examination fee of their college-going children,” they said. They urged the State government to exempt tuition fee and examination fee of college students of Ganjam district. It may be noted that State government has already declared similar exemption for the students studying in government schools of Phailin-hit Ganjam district.

They asked the State government to provide two sets of uniform to the college students in the district free of cost. Their other demands included immediate construction of special hostel for tribal students in Berhampur, construction and repair of cyclone-damaged buildings of educational institutions, filling of vacancies of teaching staff in all colleges, functioning of the tribal hostel of SBR women’s college in the city.

CPI(M) State Secretariat member Ali Kishore Patnaik, who happens to be the member of the managing committee, has already written to the Chief Minister highlighting the issue related to exemption of fees of college students in the Phailin-hit areas.