Outstation students at the mercy of PGs

The number of outstation students taking admission in Delhi University is fast exceeding the number of hostel seats available.

Every year, the prestigious varsity takes over 55,000 students in its fold. At least, two-thirds of these come from regions beyond the Capital,  going as far as Kashmir, the North-east and even foreign countries.

In contrast, the university offers only 15 independent hostels while nine colleges include boarding facilities. Of the latter, only five have accommodation for women. As a result, this year, several hundred students have been left bereft of hostel facilities inspite of scoring exceedingly well and applying for hostel accommodation much in advance.

This leaves them with the option of only private paying guest accommodations around north and south Delhi which costs them heavily
and also exposes them to security issues.
      
A member of the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) explained, “There are only about 9,000 hostel seats for over 1.8 lakh students enrolled with DU. Though several PGs are available around Vijay Nagar, Hudson Lane, Bungalow Road and Kamla Nagar in North Campus, and Lajpat Nagar, Masjid Moth, South Extension and Kotla in South Campus, these charge between Rs 7,000 to 9,000 per month. Food, sometimes, has to be arranged separately and puts an additional financial burden on the students.”

“Last year, we went on a hunger strike demanding new hostels and a centralised hostel admission system, after which the varsity authorities assured us that steps will be taken in this regard. Sadly, nothing transpired on the ground.”

A student of Hindu College, Sheshka Shagali, told Metrolife, “It’s been a month since I arrived in Delhi, but I haven’t been able to settle in a PG due to one problem or the other. If there were enough university hostels, I would have probably not had to face so much trouble.”

A student from Assam at Daulat Ram College, who did not wish to be named, said, “I was getting admission in a far better college in DU but it did not have a hostel. My parents were adamant that I stay in a proper hostel facility, so I had to settle for this one. It makes me feel like all my hard work for good marks has gone
in vain.”    

DUTA president Nandita Narain feels the authorities are just not serious about the issue of hostels. “So many complaints come from students just on the problem of harassment at private accommodations. Girls, especially, are put at risk in such living areas. The inadequacy of hostel facilities can prove to be a deterrent in their
higher education.”  
 
DU authorities, however, maintain that they are doing their best, and paperwork and sanctions are the only reason for the delay in the establishment of new hostels. JM Khurana, DU Students’ Welfare Dean, claimed, “We came up with a hostel for 1,500 girl students in 2011. Later, we came up with a hostel for Northeast students. These things take time.”

“Certain clearances are needed, including those from DDA and the Horticulture Department. Even if funds are allocated for hostels, then also the process is a lengthy one,” he said.

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