The DU admission process is in full swing and thousands of students from the Northeast have arrived in, hoping to make it to the university.
But most of these students end up facing a host of problems, especially when it comes to accommodation and communication.
In light of the recent incidents of violence against northeastern students, many feel unsafe in the city. “My parents were sceptical about me studying in Delhi because of the recent incidents against people from the Northeast which made waves back home,” said a DU aspirant from Mizoram.
However, help is now at hand. Many students’ associations have been formed especially for these students to help them with their grievances. These associations have set up their help desks in front of the admission information centres to help them.
Gary Touthang, from Manipur, joint secretary of Kuki’s (a tribe of the northeast) student organisation said, “A language barrier exists between the people from northeast and others which creates problems. We have set up these help desks so that we can explain the admission process to them in their native tongues.” The committee members of these organisations comprise people from all over the northeast. “The introduction of FYUP has further complicated the admission process. Students are confused and we are here to help them out,” added Touthang.
Some organisations also send information back to northeast students, letting them know when to come to Delhi to apply for admissions. “We got the clarification from the Dean about all the important dates regarding the admissions and sent the information to news channels in Nagaland to make things easier for students,” said Chamsel, a member of Naga Students’ Union (NSUD), Delhi.
Large student organisations such as the NSUI and ABVP too are doing their bit in helping the northeast community during admissions.
“A BVP has a separate cell for the northeast community named ‘Arunodoy’, which helps these students in filling up forms, finding accommodation and helping in getting their affidavits made,” says Avadh Nagpal, member, ABVP.
Although stereotyping, prejudice and racial profiling is still prevalent, Anu, an aspiring student from Manipur, said, “People here are not familiar with people from the northeast and treat us differently. Since we don’t know much Hindi, it’s difficult to commute and converse with auto drivers and rickshaw-pullers. Some people even call us names which are very degrading.”