Accommodating the CWG: Displacement of hostel students

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Delhi University is accommodating a lot of changes in its campus for the Commonwealth Games at the cost of not being able to accommodate its students in the hostels of various colleges. The hostels of almost all north campus colleges have been or will be vacated for the Commonwealth Games delegates. However, some north campus colleges have made alternate arrangements for the evicted students.
Daulat Ram College has offered to put up 45 of its hostelers in its air conditioned seminar room and provide them with three meals daily. The seminar room has attached bathrooms. All these services will be provided free of cost. The girls will also be provided other amenities like television, an electric iron and drinking water. Similarly, Kirori Mal College is accommodating 25 students who face financial constraints or are physically challenged and are hence having difficulty finding alternate accommodation. They are being allowed to stay in the warden’s quarters which are currently unoccupied.
Miranda House has also assisted its students to find temporary lodging till October. The college administration helped the evicted hostelers by identifying suitable rented flats and Paying Guest Accommodations in the vicinity of the college which provide their services at reasonable rates. The college has agreed to provide basic furniture and meals to these students. While they can have breakfast and lunch in the college mess, dinner will be delivered in meal boxes to the students.
On the other hand, several other colleges have been completely apathetic towards its students and their accommodation needs. In some cases, the students were unceremoniously displaced without complete information. Says a student of Hindu College, “Right up till February, there was no official information from the college as to whether our hostel rooms have to be vacated or not. It was believed to be a rumour. We were then informed informally that we should start looking for alternate accommodations. So several out-stations students had to spend a sizable portion of their summer vacation looking for PGs and flats to rent. The college did not assist us at all.” Students of St. Stephen’s College are similarly clueless about when they have to vacate their hostel rooms, if at all. The first years have been made to sign a bond saying that they will have to vacate their rooms whenever it is demanded of them. The students of the Hansraj College hostel faced a similar plight and have not received any assistance from the college authorities. Says an aggrieved hosteler of Hansraj College, “We weren’t even told till the end of May whether we would have to vacate our rooms or not. We thought we would have to find someplace else to stay for at most 15 days. Most of us had to pay security for 2 to 3 months, which will only be refunded to us if we stay in the hostel for 11 months. Rates outside are also skyrocketing. Are we supposed to study or look for places to live?”
Lady Shri Ram College for Women has not asked its second and third year students to move out. However, the first years, despite being allotted hostel rooms, have not been allowed to move into them before October. Says a student of LSR, “While I have been allotted a hostel room, I cannot occupy it before October. I had to make my own arrangements for living in Delhi and the college provided me with no assistance whatsoever in finding alternate accommodation.”

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