KOZHIKODE: Faheema Shirin, a second-year BA Literature student of Sree Narayanaguru College, Chelannur in Kozhikode, was well aware of the fact that she was going to create a revolution in hostels in the state with her petition in the High Court seeking the right to access internet, which is a tool to ensure right to education as per the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.
The 19-year-old, who was expelled from the college hostel for refusing to hand over her mobile phone to authorities, along with her father went to court and got a verdict which was favourable.
The court ruled on Thursday that imposing such restrictions was unreasonable and therefore the respondent should readmit the petitioner without further delay.
“I was strongly of the opinion that no student should be denied the opportunity to acquire knowledge and if this knowledge comes from the internet, then access to the internet must also be provided,” said Haksar R K, Faheema’s father.
But when the same was communicated to the principal, she said she had a teaching experience of more than 30 years and was a PhD holder.
According to her, listening to a person like me with just Plus II qualification was not at all acceptable, which was why she refused to hear me. I was even ready to create awareness among parents about the need to access internet and technology in the present era, he said.
“So, I decided to approach the court with my father and Legal Collective of Students’ Rights, an organisation run by law students and professionals, came forward with support,” said Faheema, who is excited to go back to college hostel after securing this historic verdict. “This verdict will help students raise their voice for their rights,” she added.
“During the first year, when the rule was imposed, I was ready to follow it as the authorities had promised to lift it the following year. But the practice of taking away the phones during study time started creating apprehensions in many students like me, which was the reason why I decided to take up this issue with higher authorities,” she said.
The issue began in the last week of June and within two weeks Faheema was expelled from the hostel. This forced her to travel 120 kilometres every day to reach college.