This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by SIDHARTHA NAMBURI. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

BITS Pilani Students Pause Their Protests Over Fee Hike In The Most Symbolic Way Possible

More from SIDHARTHA NAMBURI

Students of BITS Pilani have finally have paused their protests after over 140 hours to resolve a long-standing issue – the ever-increasing fees charged by the institute. The students’ anger and discontent with the institute as a whole were put to rest when the whole BITSian community at the Pilani campus came together to form a human chain in the shape of the iconic clock tower that sits in the middle of the campus.

The protest came on the back of an announced increase of semester fees to ₹1,59,000 for the upcoming batch. The problem of fee hike had also reared its head before. Past student representatives had tried taking up the matter with the institute in more discreet ways, but these efforts proved futile as their issues were not taken up or keenly listened to. With this gunpowder in the barrel, it was the final increment to be borne by the 2018 batch of students that finally lit the fuse for BITSians across the country.

The underlying demands behind the protest were simple and clear – a rollback of the fee hike being imposed and no negotiations on the matter. Even as this was the week of final exams, students rallied to the cause. This enthusiasm and zeal for righteousness shown in Pilani provoked the sister campuses in Goa and Hyderabad to organise a similar protest against the hike. It was one of the biggest organised protests in the 62 years of the University’s history but it surely is not the end. Students gathered in massive numbers and extended their political presence to social media. They took Twitter by storm and managed to push #RollBackBITSPilaniFeeHike to the top of the trending list on Twitter India. The issue gained popularity, receiving support from various alumni of the college as well as from famous journalists and other public figures.

Image may contain: night

What was remarkable is the spirit with which the protest was carried out. Even in the face of tough odds, the students did not lose their composure and continued to protest peacefully, studying while doing so. The media traction gained was necessary, but was sometimes not good for the reputation of the institute.

Addressing the issue as a student leader, I said, “While the students are protesting and demanding a change in the fees structure, this should in no way be interpreted as a agitation against the institute. We are not agitated, we are not angry. We are just sad and worried about this particular issue. The act of forming the clock tower using the human chain was to symbolise the BITSian way of doing it and also to reinstate the fact that each and every one of us is proud to be a BITSian. Whatever issues we might have, we love and take immense pride in the institute and this protest was not to defame the institute in any manner.”

The students of BITS Pilani tried to show the world the right way of protesting – The BITSian way.

The student community put the protest on hold after affirmative actions from the institute and a promise of conclusion. With the act, the students have also made it clear, that if required, they will come back with stronger motivation and not back down until and unless a student-centric conclusion is arrived at.

* Note: The Students’ Union is aware of specific personal attacks being made online against the Director and Vice Chancellor of the institute. We strongly condemn these actions and would like to affirm our utmost respect for them as persons and their posts.

You must be to comment.
  1. Padmanabhan Kolar

    Brilliantly done boys and Girls… this should make your institute nothing else but very very proud

    1. SIDHARTHA NAMBURI

      Thank you

  2. trilochan bhardwaj

    बिट्स पिलानी का बहुत सम्मान है पब्लिक में। बेहतरीन स्टूडेंट्स पढ़ते हैं इस संस्थान में । सरकार को फीस के मामले में सब्सिडी देनी चाहिए पिलानी जैसे संस्थानों में पढ़ने वाले छात्रों के लिए। आखिर पिलानी सरकार का काम ही तो आसान कर रहा है अच्छे इंजीनियर पैदा करके। IIT में सरकार ने SC , ST की फीस शून्य की है चाहे वो करोड़पति ही क्यों न हो फिर भी सरकार सब्सिडी देती है।बिट्स को भी फीस वाज़िब रखनी चाहिए।

More from SIDHARTHA NAMBURI

Similar Posts

By Imran Hasib

By Anika Eliz

By Sahil Basu

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below