DU women students seek more hostels

DU women students seek more hostels

They protest against lack of accommodation at university

Hundreds of women students from Delhi University protested outside the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development on Tuesday against lack of sufficient hostels for them and rise in hostel fees.

They argued that the varsity’s separate colleges would be in a better position to construct hostels for their women students, who have been forced to depend on expensive and unsafe private accommodation.

In response, the chief secretary to the HRD minister met a delegation of the students and promised to meet with the vice chancellor to discuss the possibility of more women’s hostels in DU.

He also assured the students of calling a meeting of Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung on the issue of getting clearance for the hostels.

Under the banner of Centre for Struggling Women, the students had been visiting colleges to collect signatures in support of their key demands and on Tuesday they submitted over 1,500 signatures to the MHRD.

The students, in their petition, highlighted that while many premiere colleges do not provide hostel accommodation to girls, some co-ed colleges indulge in gender discrimination while allotting hostels to them. It is evident in the allocation of disproportionate number of seats allotted to girls, they alleged.

Students said the construction of a new hostel for undergraduate hostel near Mukherjee Nagar will offer them little solace since it caters to only a fraction of them.

The hostel fee is another factor that has been worrying the students.

They said the amount charged from them has increased phenomenally over the last 8-10 years, with some colleges charging an annual fee of much as Rs 1 lakh.

The protesters also alleged that many hostel authorities run women’s hostels like their personal fiefdoms, where hostel union elections are not held, hostel union constitutions are amended without the hostellers’ mandate and rules of financial and non-financial nature are introduced without proper consultation. This, they said, was happening because of lack of uniformity in hostel rules in Central government-funded universities.