On Dialysis, She Missed Classes, Jamia Says Can't Write Exam
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New Delhi, India
14 March 2011
Not given hall ticket as attendance below 75 per cent; Sonia also denied meeting with University Vice–Chancellor RESPECTED Sir, Plz give me time 2 discuss my problem," wrote Sonia on February 1, in a letter addressed to the ViceChancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia.
The "problem" for Sonia, a final–year student of BA (Hons) Mass Media at Jamia, is that she is dependent on dialysis for survival –she suffers from chronic kidney disease, which means that both her kidneys are non–functional.
Her other problem is that Jamia has barred her from writing the annual exam, as she does not have the required 75 per cent attendance. Because of twice–aweek dialysis, Sonia attended only nine per cent of classes this year.
She wanted to meet ViceChancellor Najeeb Jung but failed to get an appointment.
Her mother also tried unsuccessfully to appeal on her behalf.
Subsequently, her request for an exemption from the attendance rule was rejected.
While Jung was unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts, Jamia's Media Coordinator Simi Malhotra said she was not aware of the matter.
Sonia joined the course in 2007 and was to graduate last year. She was, however, asked to repeat a year as her attendance was only 45 per cent –Jamia gives exemption of up to 15 per cent under medical grounds.
Sonia got to know of her ill ness only after her father, Brij Mohan Kanojia, passed away when she was in the first year of college. "I was too depressed to take care of my health after my father's death. My blood pressure would fluctuate often, but we did not take it seriously."
A thorough check–up in Octo ber 2008 confirmed stage–2 kidney failure, with one kidney showing degradation of about 75 per cent. "For the first year, I could do with medicines. In September 2009, I was told that both my kidneys were badly damaged. I began dialysis in February 2010," Sonia says. Sonia needs Rs 1,200 for each dialysis.
"I began the dialysis at Safdarjung Hospital, but had to discontinue as they would not give us regular dates for the procedure. We went to a hospital in Hauz Khas next, but their charges were too high. Now, I do the procedure at a hospital in Saket, which is next to my home in Khanpur."
She has two elder brothers.
While the older one has a family of his own to take care of, the second has taken over his father's laundry business and provides for Sonia's dialysis.
Sonia admits that she did not do well in her first and second years –she has passed all papers, but scored about "40–45 per cent" overall. Her classmates will take their final–year exams from April 8–May 18. "I have not been given the hall ticket yet, but I am prepared. I still have the notes I collected from my friends last year. There is a project and five papers –I submitted the project last year, and it was not counted as I did not give the exams," she says.
"I wish to complete my studies at any cost this year in spite of severe illness," she wrote in her letter to the V–C.