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Up, close and personal: Meet your DUSU leaders

HT City talks to the newly elected members of the Delhi University Students’ Union.

delhi Updated: Sep 16, 2016 08:27 IST
Nikita Saxena
Now that Delhi University Students’ Union elections are over, the winners talk about their journeys and plans.
Now that Delhi University Students’ Union elections are over, the winners talk about their journeys and plans.(PTI)

Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections are (finally) over, the leaders have been elected, and life is back to being as it is for most of the University. But is it the same for the winners? We talk to the elected DUSU candidates about their journeys, victories and plans for the road ahead.

Amit Tanwar (President)

Amit Tanwar, the President of DUSU.

Amit Tanwar, the newly elected President of DUSU, believes that his life has changed drastically after his win. He says, “My life was so much simpler before the elections as no one knew me. . Earlier students would come to us with their problems.Wherever I go now, people recognise me and come up to talk to me or congratulate me.”

It is not uncommon for student activists from DU to go ahead and make a mark in the world of politics. On asking Tanwar if he has any such plans, he says, “I don’t know yet. I think it is too soon to think of that. For now, I want to focus on my work as the president.”

When asked how he will handle his presidential responsibilities and studies at the same time, he says, “Studies do suffer a little bit. There will be times when I will not be able to attend classes as there will be work to take care of. However, considering I did manage fairly well during my undergraduate, I am hoping that I will continue to do so.”

Priyanka Chhawri (Vice President)

Priyanka Chhawri, Vice President of DUSU.

“Earlier we would call mediapersons, but now people from media have been calling us. And that makes us feel proud,” says Priyanka Chhawri, the winner of the Vice President (VP) post, on life after her victory in the DUSU elections. She adds, “The attention that we are receiving now isn’t very new to me. I have been a student activist for five years so I have had my fair share of media attention. The only difference is that campaigning sessions have now changed to thank you sessions.”

Chhawri shares that she was inspired to join student politics when she gave her undergraduate entrance exam. She says, “I had come to give the Common Admission Test of English (CATE) examination when I saw a few party members protesting and that moved me so much, that as soon as I got admission in Laxmibai College, I joined the party. There has been no looking back since then.”

The VP, who is an MA Buddhist Studies student says that while she will maintain a balance between studies and student politics, education is the most important thing for her. She adds, “Studies are obviously my priority. I believe that it is very important for a leader to be well-educated. I will attend classes regularly and the rest of the time I will be in my office.”

Talking about her campaigning days, Chhawri says, “We would meet students all day for campaigning. Once, I was in Shaheed Bhagat Singh College delivering a speech when I forgot the last part. It was so funny because I just said some mixed up, garbled words and walked off the stage. All the students found it very funny.”

Read: ABVP wins three of top four posts in DU students polls, NSUI gets the other

Ankit Sangwan (Secretary)

Ankit Sangwan, Secretary of DUSU.

Ankit Sangwan has won the seat for the post of Secretary but when asked what he wants, he says “To sleep”. He adds, “The past few days have been crazy. It’s like nothing has changed after the win, considering how busy we still are. Friends have been calling us to their colleges and homes. Our phones have been ringing back to back ever since we won. All I want now is to go somewhere, and it’s not to visit the place, but to just be able to catch up on my sleep.”

When asked how he feels about the attention he says, “The attention was a little expected as everyone knows jo jeetege unko media se aur baaki sab se attention milegi. Even those who weren’t on our side, call now to congratulate and that feels good.”

The MA Buddhist Studies student says that he always dreamt of earning a doctorate. He adds, “Studies are very important to me. I have always wanted to pursue a PhD, and I will make sure I achieve that.”

So does that mean that he has no plans for politics in the future? “I want to move ahead in organisational politics. For the time being, I want to stay active as a student activist and work for the issues of the students,” he says.

Sharing an anecdote from the campaigning days, Sangwan says, “I had become so used to introducing myself and telling people my post and ballot number that sometimes I would end up saying it to my friends and acquaintances. They would all have a good laugh.”

Read: Delhi University polls register lowest turnout since 2010

Mohit Garid (Joint Secretary)

Mohit Garid, Joint Secretary of DUSU.

The election process has been such a whirlwind for Mohit Garid, the Joint Secretary, that he has lost eight kilos weight in the past month. He says, “My mother is very worried that I’m losing weight. She keeps scolding me for not taking care of my health. Time hi nahi milta khaana khaane ka.”

Garid, who is the only candidate from NSUI to have won a ticket, says that things haven’t changed much for him from the campaigning days. He adds, “Delhi University has colleges all over the city. Earlier, I’d be doing the rounds of the city to campaign and now, it is to thank people. Probably that’s why all the weight loss.”

Talking about his future plans, Garid says that he would like to continue in politics. He says, “I decided three years ago that this is where I want to be. My father had been the president of his college and that is where I got my inspiration from.”