Namchi, Sikkim: Some 800-odd students of NIT Sikkim are protesting, in what has been seen as a failure of the state machinery, the absence of a permanent campus with proper facilities. Since its inception in 2010, students of the premier institute have been up in arms against its poor infrastructure, inadequate facilities and lack of medical facilities, thanks to the Centre and the state government turning a blind eye to their problems.
Things have come to such a pass that since July-end, students have been skipping classes as a mark of protest. This soon gave way to a month-long peaceful agitation, which was then followed by a hunger strike on September 5.
On the third day of the hunger strike on Friday, of the 25 students who participated in the stir, two were admitted to the emergency ward of the district hospital in Namchi in south Sikkim.
Both the second-year students, one from Uttar Pradesh and other from Bihar, were on the hunger strike for the past three days. Students, who escorted them to the hospital, alleged that due to the scarcity of beds, both the students were made to share beds with other patients in the hospital.
To press for their various long-pending demands like the allotment of a permanent campus and providing adequate infrastructural facilities at the NIT, located in Ravangla in south Sikkim, 25 students have been on a hunger strike since September 5. The number of participating students in the strike have been increasing day by day. The hunger strike was initially started by only 12 students.
The students of one of the premier institutions of Sikkim are demanding that the government provides them a separate campus for the institute. It is alleged that the authorities concerned have allowed the college to run from a building meant for the underprivileged sections of the state. The existing infrastructure, which lacks basic amenities, of the institute have also irked the students.
Coming down heavily on both the state and the Centre for their alleged failure to provide adequate facilities in the prominent educational institution, the agitating students have threatened to intensify their stir in the coming days if their demands were not met immediately.
The NIT Sikkim campus in Ravangla started functioning eight years ago on a temporary campus, and since then, the students of the institute have been demanding for a permanent campus, but in vain.
“We want positive assurance from the officials concerned. We will intensify our agitation, if they don’t resolve our problems soon,” one of the agitating students threatened.