DU help desk jugglery: Online classes on, yet assisting aspirants seeking admission
Every day senior students of Delhi University from different parts of the Capital come from various colleges to volunteer at the help desk set up by Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) at North Campus. The admission season is on, and the aspirants of the varsity have practically only this one means to clarify their doubts about how to get into the varsity of their dreams! Amid the pandemic, armoured with face masks and sanitisers, and holding their phones in one hand to be able to attend the online classes, these senior students spend the day helping out as many as 25-30 aspirants daily.
These student volunteers sort out numerous problems that the DU aspirants are facing in the online admission process. And alongside, they manage their assignments and online classes as well. “There were times when I was sitting on the help desk and had to excuse myself to mark my attendance, and attend an online lecture. But I never gave up. Being a DU student, I know the ground level and mainstream circumstances and challenges that a student faces especially during admission time. Therefore, I’m always willing to help not only students for admission but everyone I can, regardless of what I get in return. I feel happy in helping others,” says Lovnish Prajapati, a student of Rajdhani College.
The volunteers say they have signed up to help because of myriad reasons. “I registered to help at the student desk and become a volunteer because I knew that this time the digital influx of the admission applications would be immense. Many DU aspirants might miss out on key points of information, and as a result may miss out on admission to DU altogether! In order to give these students more chances to make it to their dream college, if I’ve to wear a mask and gloves and brave the pandemic, so be it! At least someone will get good education at the end,” says Anu Sehrawat, a student of Miranda House.
Some say that the service of frontline workers, during Covid-19, has inspired them to serve others in times of need, even if it means that they need to put their health at risk. “Doctors, professors, policemen, delivery persons, and relief givers have helped us all sail through the hard hitting wave of Covid-19. Their courage, endurance and compassion overwhelmed me and encouraged me to pay back in every possible way to the students and do my bit for the right to education in our nation,” says a student on condition of anonymity, adding, “I was admitted to the hospital for medical emergency, but continued to help through digital means. Students faced problems regarding fee submission, incomplete certificates and others. Since this was the first time that DU has introduced a completely online admission process, there is lot of chaos. And I feel it’s my responsibility to help aspirants in such times. I’m managing my studies, assignments and online classes side by side. I help by the day and study by the night.”
There are both online and offline help desks organised amid the pandemic to help in the admission process. Akshit Dahiya, president, DUSU, says “Exceptional times call for exceptional tasks. During the admission process, we made a team of 500 students studying in DU, to help all aspirants with admission related queries in both online and offline mode. In the online help desks, we provided multilingual helplines and in offline help desks we follow all Covid precautions putting the health of volunteers as priority.”
Author tweets @FizzyBuddha