Nachiketa hostel is now in deplorable state

Glorious past

It is an institution that was once home for students who went on to become senior government officers and leaders of social movements.

Once the most popular student-home in the district, the Nachiketa hostel here is now a shadow of its past.

The reason for its deplorable state is apparent: Rs three lakh a year is spent on providing facilities for over 40 students while Rs 29 lakh goes towards salary for 22 employees in the hostel. The hostel has more employees than required, while the number of students has dwindled over the years.

The hostel was set up in 1955 by the Social Welfare Department for the pre-metric students of government schools. Of the total 260 seats, 75 per cent is reserved for the scheduled castes and the rest for the students from other backward classes.

The 42-room hostel was once so popular that it accommodated over 400 students and there was enormous demand for admission. The students now hesitate to join the hostel due to alleged financial irregularities, maladministration and illegal activities.

Now, the boys’ hostel in Gauripet was merged with the Nachiketa hostel for want of students. Together 360 seats are vacant in both the hostels while there are only 40 students now.

For a hostel with an intake of 50 students, three staffers and a warden are appointed. However, Nachiketa hostel has 13 daily wage workers, seven permanent workers and two wardens.

Expenditure

While Rs 750 a month has been spent on each student, Rs 8.70 lakh goes for salary of the daily wage workers, Rs 18 lakh for regular employees and Rs 2.40 lakh for wardens, said Ajeem, the warden.

The most of the employees who have no work to do in the hostel, have indulged in illegal activities, sources said. The district administration has not even bothered to transfer the excess staff as such employees have made their way into the hostel through the “influential  persons”, the sources added.

The situation worsened after the law students’ hostel was also merged with this hostel, one of the students complained.

The law students allegedly indulged in illegal activities at night and the pre-metric students have also been lured into such activities by the senior students, the said.
Following complaint lodged with the district superintendent of police, a policeman has been deployed to guard the hostel at night.

Ajeem said the number of students at the hostel has reduced as facilities such as uniforms and mid-day meals are provided in government schools. However, the hostel needs immediate attention by the authorities for reviving its past glory, said an alumnus.

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