Girls Hostels


Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) stands up against discriminatory hostel curfew timings for boys and girls.

A decision that has long been a contentious point of discussion and debate, the women’s hostels of the University of Delhi (DU) have traditionally set their curfew timings at a point earlier than those of their male counterparts, citing safety as the primary reason.

Residents of the University of Delhi’s women’s hostels have been out on a protest since the 27th of February, against various issues concerning the state of their hostels, primarily bringing up the issue of discriminatory curfew timings. Voices have also been raised against the lack of better amenities as well as the exorbitant fee system.

Protesters burnt an effigy of the Vice-Chancellor (VC)on the 9th March after repeated ignorance of their demands by the university administration. A female hosteler of the university, on the condition of anonymity, said, “I do support the cause of my fellow hostelers wholeheartedly but in my opinion, the burning of the VC’s effigy was a step too far”

Universities, organisations, student communities, and student activists have expressed support and solidarity with the hostelers’ protest, including the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) amongst others.

Akshit Dahiya, President of DUSU, came out in support of the female hostellers and while noting the importance and necessity of curfew timings in ensuring basic discipline and decorum among the hostellers, also stressed on the fact that it wasn’t logical to have separate timings for male and female hostels, terming the arrangement “discriminatory”.

Dahiya opined, “It should not be different for girls and boys. We are against that discrimination. There should be a certain time by which you are required to get back to the hostel.  Would you be coming and going as you wish in the middle of the night at home? Then why do it in the hostel?”

Chinmay Sahu, a student of Kirori Mal College termed the Students’ Union’s stand as “heartening” and said, “Going contrary to the wrongly prevalent stereotype of the Union leaders looking for only personal gains, this stand by them shall certainly go a long way in strengthening the will and cause of the protesters”.

The administration of the University, including the wardens and provosts of various hostels, are yet to give a reply to the ongoing developments.

“The decision to have separate curfew timings for male and female hostelers is audacious and reeks of sexism. If it is 6 pm for girls, it should be 6 pm for boys. If it is 10 pm for boys, it should be 10 pm for girls. It is time we remove traditional arrangements which go against gender equality,” opined a female hosteler of the University, on the condition of anonymity.


Featured Image Credits: Edex Live


Araba Kongbam

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Pallavi Raj, a postgraduate student of Political Science from Kirori Mal College (KMC) broke the locks of the undergraduate hostel gates on 29th February.

The students along with Pallavi, a resident of the North East Students’ House for Women (NESHW) was one of the protesters held on 29th February, went for a march to the Vice Chancellor’s (VC’s) residence on the same day. However, it soon started raining because of which they put the mattresses and bedding they were using for the sit-in inside so that it does not get wet. “The administration must have thought that we had given up and they took that time when we were at the march to lock the doors. When we came back we asked them to open it and they did not let us in. They had chained down the gates and locked it. Then we had no other way but to break the locks,” said Pallavi to Indian Express.

She was issued a letter on 2nd March by Delhi University (DU) which claims her of indulging in activities that bring embarrassment to the Hostel. The letter asks her to focus on her studies and stay in the hostel with peace and order. She replied to the letter saying that the Provost has no right to send a letter that accuses her without even issuing a show-cause letter or a proper hearing.

Dr. Rita Singh, the NESHW in a statement to Indian Express said, “Before we delve into details of what happened we need to understand that the letter sent on 2nd March was legally sound. If a student has done something wrong, they need to send a show-cause notice for that behaviour and let the student explain the situation. But this letter is just like an advisory that has already accused me of an act and is warning me against consequences.”

The curfew timings for the Delhi University Girls’ Hostel for undergraduates is 7:30 PM while for postgraduates its 10 PM. There have been several protests for extending the same, the most recent being on 27th February at DU Girls Hostel Main Gate, Indira Vihar. But, the aspect which differentiates this recent one from the earlier is that for the first time the students of all the five hostels housing the students of Delhi University are protesting and attempting to seek their demands in unity.

Feature Image Credits: Edexlive

Kriti Gupta
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Despite several marches and protests, the curfew rules in several girls hostels in the University haven’t changed. Now, the organisation Pinjratod, which has been on the forefront of this movement, has new plans.

Two days ago, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology saw a wave of uprising as the women students refused to enter the hostel till their curfew time was raised. Yesterday, students from Punjab University in Patiala too carried on their hunger strike against curfew timings, with one of the girls even suffering from a case of dengue. Meanwhile, all this week and today, the walls of North Campus are being enveloped by rectangular posters sporting reddish hues, posters calling out students for responding to the call of change echoing all over the nation, for joining Pinjratod’s all night indefinite protest.

Pinjratod has also been news in Delhi University with their bold approach in making PGs and hostels less regressive for women students. It started from one cause but now stands for many other injustices that students in the University of Delhi face. Thankfully, with recent protests erupting in different nooks and corners of the country on these very same issues, Pinjratod’s support is only increasing. Often, the case has been that boys hostels are found to have more flexible timings or curfew as compared to the hostels of their female counterparts, which is seen as unequal and unjustified by many. The dissatisfaction behind this can clearly be seen in examples mentioned above. However, this time, it seems like an all out demand against the authority as the indefinite protest is aimed at demanding a “complete removal of curfew for all girls hostels”.

A member of Pinjratod on the condition of anonymity states in conversation with the DU Beat correspondent, “The freedom of women students in university spaces has constantly been curtailed through the imposition of arbitrary curfews by hostels, under the pretext of “safety.” Pinjratod has been persistently raising demands with the DU authorities against the discriminatory curfews and the time has come we remind them again. A memorandum has been submitted to the Vice Chancellor, with the various demands regarding hostel allocation, curfew timings and fee structure, etc. As always, there has been no action taken by the authorities. It is about time we rise to the call of the muffled voices of the women students across colleges and we appeal to all women to join us for the indefinite protest that is to be held on Monday. This fight for liberation shall be maintained. Our oppression shall not be trivialised and this blatant sexism in the name of caution by our detainers shall not be normalised.”

Being promoted with the posters reading “DU against curfew”, the protest is set to start from 4 pm on the 8th of October. There are other allied demands such as need-based allocation of hostel seats (instead of merit) and strict implementation of SC, ST, OBC and PwD reservations in all women’s hostels. With many negotiations, aid by the Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) and scores of protests, the University hasn’t really nodded their heads to Pinjratod’s demands in the past. So, would this week’s effort by Pinjratod succeed in breaking the shackles of the University’s unequal hostel rules or would it again lead to inaction and further delays on the part of the authorities? That, only time will tell.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Shaurya Singh Thapa
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After weeks of protests being organised at Hindu College due to the availability and facilities of the girls hostel, the Delhi Commission for Women has sought UGC’s response.


The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has issued fresh summons to the University Grants Commission (UGC), for the latter failed to respond to the earlier ones, say the members of the DCW. On the issue of the girls’ hostel of Hindu College, the DWC stood alongside the students who were protesting day and night. They sought a reply from the former as to there was a Rs. 30,000 difference in the fees of the girls’ and the boys’ hostel. This move was adopted after the panel had repeatedly written to the UGC seeking answers regarding the discriminatory hostel fee for the University as a whole, but they were not obliged with a response.


Protests have been circumventing the College for the past few days. They started with the students having foundational demands like reduction of fees for the girls’ hostel, similar curfew timings and rules in comparison to the boys’ hostel, the formation of a Student Council for them (like the one that exists in the boys’ Hostel) for facilitating communication between the administration and the students. The umbrella goal for these gatherings was to lobby for a clearly chalked out transparent admission process, where allotment of seats in the hostel would be made according to a cut-off list while maintaining the reserved seats for different categories.


The Commission also complained of many colleges within the University not having hostel for girls, making it even more difficult for them to come to Delhi and receive education. The girls who do come here are forced to live as paying guests in accommodations provided by private individuals who charge them exorbitantly.


The student protestors, apart from demanding equality in terms of rules and fees, also demanded an explanation as to why, after such long 117 years of the existence of the college, the authorities realised that girls also study here and they do need a roof under which they can stay. It is alarming that the realisation of the necessity of accommodation dawned upon them after decades, and yet the provision offered remains unaffordable to more than half of the population of this country.

Feature Image Credits: The Times of India

Ananya Bhardwaj

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As the University of Delhi rounds up with this year’s fest season and amidst a political ambivalence in the campus, the ideals of safety have been fervently debated by those within and outside the ambit of concern. The festival of colours which is often diversified into forcefully putting all sorts of elements on other people is often misused to sexually harass women, and under a garb of festivities, their safety is breached. However, instead of addressing the source of the problem directly, two girl hostels in the campus have decided to do what the nation does best: locking up women, emotionally and physically.

The International Student House for Women (ISHW) which comes under the purview of the University of Delhi issued a notice which stated:

“Holi is a festival of colours. To make it enjoyable for all of us, following decisions have been taken in the interest of residents. Residents and female guests will not be allowed to leave or enter the premises from 9 pm on March 12 till 6 pm on March 13. No late-night permission will be granted on March 12 and those desirous of playing Holi should go outside the residential block within the hostel premises.”

The Meghdoot Hostel also accompanied the above ideology, with a notice which said that “the main gate will remain closed from 6 am to 5:30 pm on March 13” and that all students were prohibited from consuming “any narcotic drugs in form of thandai.” It added that the students must not return to the hostel late in the evening on March 12.

The decision has been cited by the authorities as an “arbitrary move” to ensure “the best interest of the residents.” However, female students who had already been facing constraints with regards to time restrictions and other policies, are enraged with this unfair imposition. Far from addressing the issue and working on ways to solve the matter, the solution once again lies in the confinement of women to avoid the injustice of sexual harassment. The rhetoric of safety has been mobilised by housing authorities to consciously bar women from celebrating a festival, instead of strengthening ways to ensure their protection during this period. “Honestly, I avoid going out around the time of Holi and the day itself anyway.  It is extremely annoying and unsafe since people take the liberty of doing anything to you under the garb of Holi. The hostel thing makes some sense, since it in some ways acts on the same anxiety. But like I said, even without the circular which reiterated that I shouldn’t go out, I was in my right minds not to. So really, why do they leash us like we need it? If they insist on restricting our movement on the day of Holi, how about they lock the men up too?” said a hostel resident about the curfew.

Advocating along similar lines and fighting against the discriminatory rules and regulations in university hostels for girls, Pinjra Tod has been an active voice in raising concerns of hundreds of the residents. On speaking to a national daily about this diktat, they remarked, “The rise in sexual violence and harassment that women experience on the streets around Holi is barely addressed and instead once again, women are locked up for their ‘own safety’ and arbitrary restrictions are imposed on their mobility.”

Image Credits: Asian Age


Saumya Kalia

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