Tired of having to return to their hostels just an hour and a half after classes let out, Ajmer’s Regional Institute of Education’s women protested by ignoring the 7 pm curfew after classes got done at at 5:30 pm. In addition to asking for an extension till 9 pm, they also demanded a 24/7 ambulance service. Pinjra Tod explained the students’ reasons for protesting, saying “Most of their classes end at 5:30, they get only an hour and a half to themselves. Such restrictive timings prevent them from taking part in sports and extracurricular activities.”
Like earlier this month in Bhopal, these students were also scared of being penalised for protesting, but decided to turn out with their faces covered to protect their identities.
The administration responded with tightening the security and disallowing students from leaving their hostels post 5 PM. Later in the night they also stopped the mess staff from handing out food to the protesting students.
While the college justified the strict rules and regulations for “security reasons,” the students allege that even basic amenities like an ambulance service and cutlery in the mess were denied to them. In the event of a medical emergency, a student was required to get permission to leave the hostel from the warden, chief warden and a reference from the doctors at the dispensary. They were also denied access to a college gate, the terrace and also had to undergo a cumbersome vetting process to have visitors over.
“Its a big big victory for us. It actually took time convincing people that we were being deprived of our rights, so bringing people together itself was a victory.” Even as most of the demands were circumvented than accepted, this marks the start of something new! #RIEAjmer pic.twitter.com/bKsf4DZ2JY
— Pinjra Tod (@PinjraTod) September 27, 2018
However, in the end, the students have won – their curfew is now 9 pm, not 7 pm.
This victory comes right after Bhopal’s Regional Institute of Education protested against the same restrictions successfully. However, Hidayatullah National Law University’s students have gone back to protesting the reinstatement of their vice chancellor after successfully winning an extension of hostel and library timings earlier this month.
Featured image credit: Pinjra Tod/Facebook