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india Updated: Mar 30, 2009 17:40 IST
Neha Sharma

Sanjana Jon could not have done it without their support, the Free Tibet Movement would not have received its impetus if it hadn’t been for them. The Delhi University campus has emerged as a platform for social issues with students rallying for causes they are not connected with. Yet, they feel that if they can make a difference, why not?

Nupur Sharma, President, DUSU, says, “It’s all about giving students the education and making them aware that their participation matters.”

Desh Ratna, a student of Law Faculty in DU who organized a press conference and a march for Anand Jon, says that he and his classmates didn’t know the designer or his mother or sister, but felt that they should offer a hand. “We read about the case and contacted Jon’s mother Shashi Abraham. Jon is an NRI and many of us will go abroad to study and this can happen with us also.”

Friends of Tibet, a group in colleges which is vying towards a Free Tibet, is no less involved in the freedom movement than the Tibetans. They wear ‘Tibet will be free’ t-shirts, badges and also stage protests. Priyanka Chharia, a recent DU graduate, says, “We staged innumerable protests at Jantar Mantar, when the Chinese premiere came visiting, the cops looked at us and said, ‘Madam aap bhi..?’ Like you have to be Tibetan to join the cause.”

Some of the students even go and spend time in villages to empower people there.

“We spend time with the locals, interact with tribals, meet victims of various tragedies and bring their problems to the notice of social activists,” says Devika Menon, a student in Lady Sri Ram. “We even go around states checking the status of the implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.”

Students of Delhi University are perhaps best remembered for their contribution in solving the Priyadarshini Mattoo case. Mattoo, a 25-year-old student of law at Delhi University, was raped and murdered in 1996. But the accused had been acquitted. Ten years later, with the joint cooperation of the media and several university students, the accused was pronounced guilty and sentenced to death.

A group of Delhi University students is also planning a blog to gather support for the request to grant Nalanda University the status of a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.