Friends and family of Rohith Vemula remember him

Rohith Vemula committed suicide on 17 January 2016 after he was expelled from Hyderabad Central University (HCU).
The Quint team reached out to his family and friends to remember the bright research scholar who had a special interest in Science and wanted to become a writer.

Radhika Vemula: Rohith’s mother recounts him and explains why he did feel lonely.

Karthik Bittu: Professor Karthik Bittu, former temporary faculty at HCU and one of Rohith’s friends, calls him an intelligent, deeply loyal young man who cared strongly about injustices.

Uma Maheshwar Rao: Room 207 of HCU, where Rohith took his own life, belonged to Uma Maheshwar. After his suspension from the HCU hostel, he would use his time in this room.

“Rohith was the only person to get two research scholarships in forty years of Hyderabad Central University. He was intellectually excellent and mentally very strong. He always wanted to become a Dalit icon and bring the struggle to the forefront,” says Uma Maheshwar.

Seshiah Chemudugunta & Vijay Kumar Vijay Kumar & Seshiah Chemudugunta were barred from the hostels of HCU along with Rohith Vemula.

“When we were younger, we had to do construction work and often clean the drains. We had no option. When we came to college we thought this would get better, but the casteism and untouchability have simply changed form here,” says Vijay.

“My parents were bonded labourers to the Reddy community. When we were children, my sister and I went with them to the upper castes member’s house when they went to work. There we were made to work and clean and treated like servants. We were children,” recalls Seshiah.