More than 300 students of different colleges of the Coal Belt have hit the streets in demand for a separate varsity by the name of Vinod Bihar Mahto University in Dhanbad.
The students ' 200 from Dhanbad, 60 from Bokaro and another 40 from Giridih ' took out a massive rally on foot under the aegis of the students' wing of Ajsu from Dhanbad on Thursday. The march will culminate in Ranchi on February 5 covering a distance of 160km.
The rally, which was flagged off by former Sindri MLA Rajkishor Mahto at Vinod Dham, Baliapur, in the presence of district president of Ajsu Mantu Mahto and principal of Marwari College Ranchi U.C. Mehta, wound its way through Kusum Vihar, Saraidhela, Court More and Kendua before arriving at Putki Shramik Club around 7pm. The participants were put up for the night at nearby colleges and schools.
On Friday, they set off from Putki around 10.30am and reached Mahuda College at 2pm. After a brief stopover, the students marched on to Jodhadih More in Bokaro.
Coal Belt in-charge of Ajsu students' wing Hiralal Mahto, who is leading the rally, said they would reach Ranchi on February 5. "A dharna will be staged in front of Raj Bhavan in Ranchi to urge governor Syed Ahmed to establish a separate university. Dhanbad urgently needs a university, which fulfils all criteria and has proper facilities, as at present, the students have to travel more than 140km to reach VBU in Hazaribagh for minute official works like correction in marksheets or getting certificates," said Mahto.
Giridih district president of students' wing of Ajsu Randhir Verma agreed. "A university in Dhanbad will be also convenient for students of adjoining districts like Bokaro and Giridih," he pointed out.
Chandani Kumari, a Part-II arts student of Vinod Bihari Mahto College, Baliapur, said out of 19 constituent colleges of VBU, seven were situation in Dhanbad. "Moreover, Dhanbad also hosts the lone medical college (Patliputra Medical College and Hospital, Dhanbad), BIT-Sindri and the only law college under VBU. Hence, this is the ideal location for a separate university," she stressed.