For the first time in six decades of student union elections at Maharaja’s College, a woman has won the elections!
Mridhula Gopi, a third year B Com student from the college, which is based in Ernakulam, won the elections with good margin of 121 votes against stiff competition, paving way for more women students to enter the arena.
Indeed, this year’s elections have not just proved fruitful to Mridhula, who is also the vice president of the Students Federation of India (SFI) unit in the college, but for many other women as well. A total of seven female candidates have been elected to key positions in the students’ union.
The inclusion of seven girls in the union hasn’t been some random decision. Each of them has been actively part of many campaigns – fighting for women’s rights and gender equality.
One of the campaigns in which they had been at the forefront was the protest against the Centre imposing GST on sanitary napkins holding placards, which said ‘Bleed without fear, Bleed without tax’.
Mridhula hopes to bring about a radical shift and change the image of the students, especially those in the SFI, who have become infamous for their violent inclinations.
“It cannot be denied that there have been outbursts from the youth. However, from now, the focus will be on ideologies and standpoint. Staging a rebellion just on the basis of emotions rather than with a rational approach will not be encouraged,” she told the Times of India.
With over 75 per cent of students being women, the major task ahead for these women leaders is to work towards addressing the issues faced by women.
Looks like the college is up for a change – and not just in ideologies. Once known for being a den of alcohol and drugs abuse, the college now has active volunteers involved in various activities to curb such things.
“Things have been so effective that now you can hardly find any cigarette butts within the college premises.,” she said.
As of immediate action, the girls plan on starting with making better provisions in the government college that would cater women with required amenities.