The Rajasthan University students’ union polls has sprung up many surprises, but like the previous election this year too only a few girls are contesting for the top posts. Only one out of the eight students vying for the post of president is a girl, while there are just two girls out of the nine people contesting for the post of vice-president.
Over 25,000 students, including 9,000 girl students, of the Rajasthan University will elect their students’ union representatives on August 31. Trishla Choudhary is the lone woman candidate fighting for the post of president on a National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) ticket.
A first-year student of MA in philosophy, Choudhary says that if elected the first thing she would want was to improve on campus security for girls. “I want to ensure better security outside girls’ hostel and Maharani College.”
Ritu Kumari Peepliwal, who is vying for the post of general secretary, also stressed on the security issues that the girls face.
“Nobody takes the issues of girls seriously. After winning the election, the students’ leaders don’t even come back once to enquire about our problems. The politics in the university happens over money and muscle. Students in my college (Law College II) who don’t even come to college, score high marks, while those who are regular get low marks. This will stop if I am elected,” she said.
Hemlata Khorwal (NSUI) and Sujata Meena (ABVP) are contesting for the post of vice-president, while Prathna Samriya, from Maharani College, is contesting for the post of joint secretary and Peepliwal is the only woman constant for the post of general secretary. None of the four contestants for the post of research representative is a girl.
Professor Sheila Rai from the department of political science of the university agreed that there representation of women in the students’ body polls was not fair. “The political landscape in RU is only reflective of the state legislatures and parliament where the number of women is minuscule. We had one girl president at the university a couple of years ago…While the turnout of girls during elections is increasing, more effort is required to ensure there is sufficient representation of women.”