New Delhi: While the entire U-19 Indian cricket team celebrates its U-19 World Cup win, its captain Unmukt Chand has a niggling worry at the back of his mind. He has a legal case against his University that is denying him the Right to Education.
India's World Cup winning Under 19 team captain, scorer of a perfect ton that got India the World Cup down under is locked in a bitter battle to complete his education. Delhi's prestigious St Stephens College has refused to let him take his first year exams on the grounds the 19-year-old cricketer has an incomplete attendance record.
"I never thought that after he got in through the sports quota, this would happen. This came as a shock," Unmukt's father Bharat Chand Thakur said.
St Stephen's College says 33.33 per cent attendance is mandatory for students under the sports quota and evidently for the college, no relaxation can be made even for proven domestic and World Cup winning cricketers like Unmukt, who ironically has been equally impressive in academics, securing 74 per cent marks in his Class 12 exams.
While Principal Valson Thampu insists his college has one rule for all, this is what he offers as a solution. "He could've gone to the teachers and spoken to them and asked what did you teach and then have taken his exams on them. If students do that, then I will stand up for them," the Principal said.
Unmukt, a member of the Delhi Ranji Team and IPL team Delhi Daredevils, is now engaged in a bitter legal battle with his college. After a High Court verdict in May, Unmukt was allowed to sit in two of the four papers, but his results have been withheld pending trial. But his lawyers demand a change in the rule.
"Rules keep changing. With cases like Unmukt, they should just update the rule and make exceptions," his lawyer said.
He is a World Cup winning captain, but the value of education is not lost on the 19-year-old Unmukt Chand. So while the budding cricketer fights for his right to education, is it not time for the Universities across the country to evaluate their rules and update them in these changing times?