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A ban on photocopy?

Students go online to raise their voice against many photocopy shops shutting down in the varsity due to some publishers taking them to court.

education Updated: Aug 26, 2012 02:23 IST
Vaishali Bhambri
Vaishali Bhambri
Hindustan Times

A number of students and teachers of Delhi University (DU) have come out in support of the culture of photocopied readings soon after a few publishers moved the high court to put a stop to the photocopied matter of their books being sold on the campus. This move by the publishers resulted in many photocopy shops across DU to shut down. To support all these shops, a Facebook event page — Campaign To Save DSchool Photocopy Shop, was created on August 21, which has about 500 members already. The page features the letter that students and faculty of DU had written to the varsity’s Dean Students Welfare, explaining why photocopied readings are important.

“This action, on behalf of publishing houses and the resulting order of authorities to shut down the shops, is astounding. Institutions other than DU also rely on this facility that is immensely enabling. It benefits lakhs of students,” says Amit Chaturvedi, 28, a doctoral candidate at Delhi School of Economics (D School) and one of the administrators of the page.

The online campaign is also being supported by a signature campaign in DU. “We are circulating the same letter that has been uploaded on the page. The response has been overwhelming, as many students have signed it and pledged their support to the campaign,” says Chaturvedi.

As for students borrowing books from DU libraries, Chaturvedi says that there is an uneven ratio of the number of books in the libraries and students on campus. “The difference between number of books enlisted in the essential readings list, and number of students who benefit from them, is huge,” he says. Chaturvedi feels that it’s quite difficult to buy the large number of books, as they are overpriced. “Students would always prefer to have a copy of the original book,” he says.

Students and staff of D School also share a special rapport with the college’s main photocopier — Rameshwari Photocopy Service.

“Photocopy remains one of the most important facilities on campus. It’s an ‘on request’ service and there is hardly anything commercial about it.

He doesn’t overcharge us or anything,” says Chaturvedi.

Effectiveness of social networking
The Anti Drugs, Anti Ragging Campaign (ADAR) is one such campaign that became popular through Facebook. This was started by some students of DU. Through Facebook, it engaged students in initiatives such as poster-making and slogan writing on the theme of anti-ragging.

Social networking websites are widely being used by various student union parties in the run up to the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections. Major parties such as National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) have all got official fan pages, through which, they are creating awareness about the various events taking place and the work that has been done by the party.

DU speaks...
Priyanka Chharia, 25
Ex student,Delhi School of Economics
The case should be withdrawn immediately, and of course, the shop needs to restart as soon as possible. The xerox shape at DSE was more than just a shop. Will they now close xerox shops all over the country?

Vaishali Singh, 24
Ex student, Gargi College
It’s impossible to buy such expensive books for many students... and our libraries are too not equipped to cater to the needs of so many students at time.

Sargam Sudhir Mehra, 24
Ex student, SR
These readings ease off a lot of pressure for us. They save time and effort and ensure that we can read a lot more. Life in DU cannot be imagined without them.

Saanya Khanna, 23
Ex student, LSR

We used to rely majorly on readings. They were the easiest way out. I hope the shops reopen as soon as possible, so that students don’t get affected.
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First Published: Aug 25, 2012 19:55 IST