TISS students to boycott convocation
Pranab Doley, 25, will not walk up on stage at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) on Wednesday to collect his degree from the chief guest, environment minister Jairam Ramesh.mumbai Updated: May 11, 2011 01:50 IST
Pranab Doley, 25, will not walk up on stage at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) on Wednesday to collect his degree from the chief guest, environment minister Jairam Ramesh.
Doley and 30 other students from the graduating batch of masters in social work have chosen to boycott their convocation ceremony as a mark of protest against the proposed Jaitapur nuclear plant in Ratnagiri in southern Maharashtra and the POSCO steel project in Orissa.
"As the future generation of the country, we are concerned with the whole paradigm of development that is taking place in the country at the present times," said Doley.
Students from the institute have been actively connected with the Jaitapur issue with five students being arrested while participating in a yatra from Tarapur to Jaitapur about two weeks ago. Even protesters from Jaitapur are gathering outside campus to try and meet the minister.
Apart from boycotting the ceremony, several other students have been protesting in various democratic ways such as wearing black bands, carrying placards and posters and sporting anti-nuclear t-shirts and caps. A group of students is also presenting Ramesh souvenirs with anti-nuclear symbols and a memorandum.
The memorandum states: "In the interest of the people of our country, we urge you to put a halt to these projects that will cause irreversible damage to the environment and to the lives of future generations. As concerned citizens we demand that the ministry must act effectively in protecting the fragile eco-systems of our country and the lives and livelihoods of the people who live there, which are being endangered by the current policies that promote corporate interests over safety, sustainability, livelihoods and human rights."
Director S Parasuraman said, "The minister has always been open to talking to students. After the convocation ceremony is over, students will have the opportunity to talk to him and submit the memorandum."
About 250 students from different courses are graduating on Wednesday.