About 30 students from Dagon University walked from Tadaphyu (white bridge) bus stop to their school in protest at the non-availability of commuter buses plying from South Dagon to their Dagon University in Yangon Region. This protest movement started on January 23.
This protest is being carried out by the Dagon University Students Union by walking about 4-miles in about two hours. They have been protesting for two days.
The students said that they were not demonstrating as such but were trying to make the officials aware of their difficulty because of lack of commuter buses directly running to their school.
Third year student studying for an Archeology major in Dagon University who took part in this movement, Thu Htoo Paing, said, “We don’t make a problem for changing two bus routes in commuting to our school but the bus routes number 24, 25 and 62 which reach our university, coming from downtown areas of Bogalay Market etc. do not stop at Tadaphyu bus stop as they have already been crammed with full of passengers. Even if they stop at this bus stop, riding on such a crammed bus will be uncomfortable for us.”
Dagon University Students Union, Women Affairs In-charge, Kaung Shwe Sin Htut, said that the students had to change bus at Tadaphyu bus stop as there are no bus routes directly plying to the university from South Dagon. And then the girl students faced problems of becoming the victims of pickpockets and sexual harassment on these buses packed full of passengers.
“The main reason of causing these cases is travelling on fully crammed buses. The officials concerned should consider long term solutions for resolving these difficulties. Such cases will be reduced if the buses are not crammed full of passengers. We may face more problems of being harassed if we resist these sexual abusers,” she added.
The students from this university have met with officials from Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA) many times since 2017 to provide them commuter buses plying directly to their Dagon University from South Dagon but it has reportedly not yet been resolved so far.
Dagon University Students Union sent their warning letter to YRTA on December 23, 2019 but the students from this university say that the officials concerned have not yet resolved their problem.
YRTA joint secretary Hla Aung said at press conference held on January 22, 2020 that providing a new bus route as demanded by students had been delayed because it was a private bus route not the public bus route run by YRTA.
About 70,000 students attend Dagon University as regular students and in correspondence courses.