Women Students’ March in Garhwa

Women students of the Gurupat Primary Teachers’ Training College and the RKBS B.Ed. college in Garhwa, Jharkhand, held a protest march at the Garhwa district headquarters on 15 May 2017. Along with protesting against the cutting of funds for scholarships, the students raised several other demands. AISA leaders Divya Bharati, Vinay Yadav, Avinash and others led the protest march from the town’s Ranka square to the Collectorate. The protestors wanted to meet the officers in charge, but they were stopped at the entrance itself. The protestors then blocked the entrance of the Collectorate for several hours. The students asked: If crores of funds can be spent on Momentum Jharkhand, then why can’t funds be made available for poor students, scholarships and education? Girls in the Ranka B.Ed. college used to receive scholarships up to 70% of the fees, and this has now been reduced to 30%. The ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign was meaningless if governments withdraw funds and scholarships for women and force them out of the education system, they pointed out. AISA leaders also reiterated these demands, along with speaking for the right to education, freedom and women’s autonomy. Finally, the protestors were allowed to enter the Collectorate and present a memorandum of their demands. The Collector’s office promised to submit these demands to the state government. This movement has received wide support amongst students in the region.