In a major letdown to the “equal opportunity” motto, Delhi University’s Hindu College has thrown open the gates of its long awaited girls’ hostel with the euphoria over the addition of an accommodation facility within the college campus having been nullified by the fact that the authorities have priced it at a belter of Rs 90,000 as fees per year while boys have to pay just Rs 58000 per year for the college hostel facilities.
The college authorities have cited reasons like lack of grants from the University Grants Commission (UGC) for the girls’ hostel and the availability of air conditioning in the girls’ hostel as the factors which have led to the exorbitant pricing which has ideally placed the hostel in the same league as some of the numerous Paying Guests Accommodations peppered throughout the campus.
The concerned students have been led by the student led movement, “Pinjra Tod” which is at the forefront of revolting against discriminatory rules against women on campus. Together, both have raised the matter with several authorities including the Delhi Commission for Women which in turn approached the college to fulfill the student’s demands but to no avail.
Some college authorities have further clarified the reason behind the UGC snubbing the proposal of funding the hostel. These authorities point out how a previous grant of 80 lakhs were not utilized by the college as the period over which the money was to be spent had lapsed. The college hasn’t approached the UGC since.
The college authorities haven’t been perturbed by the anguish over the fee issue. The protracted engagements of the college’s student political representatives with the college authorities over the same haven’t bore fruit while those in power in DUSU have chosen to remain mum on the issue thus leaving the students with no alternative but to enroll for the hostel and hope for a seat for the space crunch in the girls’ hostel is even more acute with a capacity of just 156 students on a twin-sharing basis while the hostel for boys can boast of 119 rooms.
The relatively overpriced girls’ hostel fees and the failure to arrive at a resolution to the issue, thus beckoning prospective girl students to adjust to the deplorable reality wherein accommodation facilities in campus, be it hostels or PG’s are often overpriced and subject to archaic curfew norms is just another blot on the administration of the university as also the student political bodies at the helm in DUSU which have time and again failed to arrive at a lasting solution to the problem of viable student accommodation for Delhi University’s students.