The students at the National institute for Empowerment of Persons with Visual Disabilities (NIEPVD), who were on a relay hunger strike demanding a monthly stipend of Rs 2,500 and laptops, have intensified their agitation. At least 10 students who had initiated a relay hunger strike two days ago are now sitting on a 24-hour hunger strike and have claimed that many other students have joined them.
“We will not give up until our issues are addressed. We are asking for a nominal stipend of Rs 2,500. Many of us have not received laptops,” said Monu Verma, who is enrolled in a course at the institute.
Another student enrolled in a short-hand course, Umesh Kumar, said, “I am supporting the fight but if required I will not hesitate to join the ongoing hunger strike.”
Almost 150 students, enrolled in vocational training courses, have been boycotting classes since February 13. The students have also written to the Union ministry of social justice and empowerment and the human rights commission.
It is learnt that the emoluments like a stipend of Rs 2,500 was to be given to the students under a scheme by the skill development ministry but since some norms were recently changed, officials at the institute are not sure if the stipend would now be available. The officials said that the orders for the laptops have already been placed.