IJT organised a students' rally at KU
Karachi, Aug 9: Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT), University of Karachi (KU) unit,
organised a students rally to highlight the acute shortage of KU point buses
which cause considerable hardships for students on a daily basis.
Students assembled in front of the Administration building and unfurled
a banner that denounced the pitiable condition of university transport and the
indifferent attitude of the administration that is doing nothing to address the
grievances of students. The demonstration incorporated humour as two donkey
carts were used to symbolise KU transport. The students then proceeded towards
UBL and stopped there to listen to a student leader who addressed the rally from
the roof of a bus.
The students, both boys and girls said that they are
exasperated by the continuing suffering they undergo while commuting from their
homes. "It is painful to listen to the orchestra of university officials who
continue to eulogise the transport services provided by the university.
Everything is good on paper. The reality is contrary to such claims," said Saba
Farooqui, a student from the Arts Faculty. A bespectacled student, Irfan Nadeem
from the Department of Chemistry, was equally angry. "I am surprised and pained
by the indifferent attitude of the university administration. It talks
majestically but treats students like dregs. It is high time that students
unions are revived".
It was a remarkable sight. Students were angry but
behaved in an organised manner. Some university officials, connected with
student and security affairs looked ill at ease. It appeared as though they
abhor the idea of students agitating for their rights. The watch and ward
officials were also present and seemed as though they were waiting to pounce on
the students who had dared to come out to voice their grievances in the hot and
humid weather. The Rangers kept their distance but were on the lookout for
opportunities to fulfill their duties by using physical violence against the
students. Indeed decades of military rule have left their mark on every segment
of civil society.
Dr Khalid Iraqi, the Student Advisor, while talking to
us defended the performance of the university in providing comfortable
transport and an adequate number of books to the students. He presented
statistics of the number of books acquired by some universities and compared
them with KU. According to him, the Quaid-i-Azam University has 197,000 books
worth six million rupees, The University of Punjab has acquired 340,000 books
worth Rs10 million and the NED University of Engineering and Technology has
135,980 books worth Rs6.6 million. However, the University of Karachi has the
maximum number of books, 350,000 books worth Rs 20 million.
Iraqi justified the shortage of buses by declaring that the 'dearness', time and
high prices of fuel and auto parts serve to render university officials helpless
in this context. "The university realises and shares the financial hardships of
needy students in particular and of all the students in general. If a student
wants to come to the university using public transport, he will have to pay at
least Rs10 while KU transport charges only three rupees from any point of the
city. From Nipa, one way fare is one rupee," he announced. He further said that
the university is spending Rs14 million and six million rupees on the purchase
of diesel and maintenance respectively. "But we still have a fleet of 32 buses,"
Abdul Jabbar, the IJT spokesman termed the university
statistics a 'jugglery of words' and said that instead of comparing itself with
other universities that have far smaller numbers of students, the university
should try to deliver better results. "The students are a precious part of
society. They are our hope. KU should not give them such raw deals," he said
vehemently. The news