Hindu College which had recently announced that it would not invite applications to its newly constructed girls’ hostel after it got much flak over the set of rules, has now decided to review its decision.
The college which had been providing accommodation facilities to its male denizens for so long was to operate girls’ hostel from the 2016-17 sessions. But this move was met with a barrage of criticism as the rules laid down were “discriminatory” and “regressive.”
The parochial set of rules not only asked the students to cage themselves in their rooms after 11 p.m. but also, to dress as per as the “normal norms of the society.” They went on to dictate that no visitors would be allowed without prior permission including “ girl students” and only one night-out will be allowed in a month with the permission of the guardian or parents. Also, the girls should behave in a decent manner by keeping their room clean and tidy and should be prepared for any random checks by the warden.
Not only the girls were asked to follow such bizarre rules but were also charged a hefty fees of more than Rs. 82,000 while their male counterparts were charged only Rs.47, 000. While the boys’ hostel is famous for barely having any regulations, such limited freedom for girl students invited inevitable and obvious anger and protests from student organizations. Following the protests of students, National Commission of Women (NCW) had also, issued a notice to the college demanding reasons for such discriminatory rules, saying it was seriously concerned over the issue.
The college authorities claimed that they were being only careful and were concerned about the safety of students and justified the exorbitant fees with the high costs with which hostel was built and also, with the facilities being provided to the girls. But following the protests, the college decided not to admit any students to the hostel this year. Students who had taken the prospectus were asked to return those and get their fee refunded.
But this step again garnered criticism from both students and teachers alike. “Instead of having a dialogue with the students, the governing body decided to take such a step. It was built with so much money collected through donations. They cannot lock it now,” a teacher said.
“There were protests by a section of students against the fee and the rules. I discussed the issue with the Governing Body (GB) and we decided to not make any enrollments from this year and meanwhile resolve the concerns of students. However, this resulted in protest by another set of students,” college principal Anju Srivastava said.
“We have decided to reconsider the matter and have formed a committee which will include student representatives and members of teaching and non-teaching staff. If there is a consensus on a new plan, including fees and hostel rules in time for the new session, the college may make enrolments from this academic session itself,” she added.