Facing Forced Eviction, Students Protest Against RGHG

Several students of the RGHG held a protest against the hostel authorities on Thursday regarding the alleged eviction of the residents. Read to find out more.

Students residing at the Rajiv Gandhi Hostel for Girls (RGHG) protested against the alleged attempts at eviction of the hostel’s residents at Chhatra Marg on Thursday, 8th September. 

Located in Dhaka Hostel Complex, Banda Bahadur Marg, RGHG houses a large number of postgraduate students and research scholars. The hostel also has provisions for students from the North-Eastern states, offering them a reservation of 300 seats from the total of 772 seats. 

We had approached different student organisations to stand in solidarity with us. Students from AISA, SFI, KYS, DSU, YFSJ, NSUI, and BSCEM had come in support of us. This issue is already known to DUSU. Women students narrated their accounts of how they were troubled with the actions of the hostel authority in terms of vacating notice, notice informing disciplinary action, high guest charges, and fee hike,”

said a resident of RGHG.

The protestors pointed fingers at the Provost, Warden, and RTs of RGHG in social media posts and WhatsApp forwards, accusing them of attempting to forcibly evict students from the hostel. According to the protestors, the residents from the academic session 2021-22 (admitted on merit) were issued a notice on 22nd August instructing them to vacate the hostel immediately after their exams. Students were threatened with disciplinary action if they did not clear the premises on time. Another notice was issued on 31st August declaring that if the premises were not vacated, the students would be required to pay a fine for every subsequent day that they resided in the hostel. These fines raised the fees for the students to 9000 rupees per month from the previous 7500 per month.

A few students who raised their voices like me or questioned the authorities regarding their actions were severely dealt with in terms of talking to such students in harsh tones, dismissing their suggestions, stopping them from expressing their concerns, singling them out by marking their names, or by refusing to engage with them. There are cases where students were made to feel that they have no permanent stake in this hostel and that they can be removed at any point, which created fear amongst the students,”

she continued.

The protestors also made claims that DU’s recent semester crunch has not allowed enough time for students to find alternate accommodations and that they do not have the resources to afford the skyrocketing prices of PGs and private hostels. Since new admissions haven’t taken place yet, the protestors claim that this is not an issue of accommodation as the hostel has enough space (at least for the time being) for the students who are being told to vacate. Appeals were made to the Delhi Commission for Women and the Commission’s subsequent intervention has allowed students to reside in the hostel for now.

A delegation of students submitted a memorandum to the personal secretary of Dean Students Welfare which detailed the demands of the women students. Our hostel has a Managing Committee meeting tomorrow which will convene to decide the fee structure and admission process for the ongoing academic year,” 

a resident of RGHG told DU Beat.

In another Instagram post, the students declared that they intend to fight for what they believe is their right. It was stipulated that the hostel must stop forcibly vacating students and that the current residents should be admitted for the 2022-23 academic session. They further demanded that the hostel should roll back the fee hikes, stop imposing discriminatory rules on students, appoint new and student-friendly hostel authorities, and form a student union to protect the rights of the students.

We are distressed to see how students are being juggled in the name of rules and tossed around in the name of money.  The hostel authority fails to see us as humans, as persons with constitutionally protected rights.  We are pained to see how we are being treated as money-extracting machines and nothing else,”

siad the resident.

Read also: Breakdowns, Burnouts and More—What to Expect After Moving Out

Featured Image Credits: @aisa_delhi on Twitter

Siddharth Kumar

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Siddharth is your guy for doing anything that would make a legen-wait-for-it-dary story. However, if you find him, get ready for him talking your ear off about how Van Gogh is the greatest artist to walk the earth, Doctor Who is the best show ever and how the Ancient Greeks had a point.