During the lockdown, Delhi University students have been asked to vacate the Northeastern Students House for Women in Dhaka Complex, North Campus, and out of many that have left, 13 are left stranded in the hostel, with nowhere go.
Amid COVID-19 lockdown, Provost Rita Singh had asked students residing in the North Eastern Students House for Women in Dhaka Complex to vacate the hostel. Many students have left, however 13 are stranded in the hostel with no way to reach their homes in remote areas. The authorities stated the expiry of mess contract as the reason.
Christina Ering, President of Student Welfare Association stated, “This is mental harassment of students. In the past, she passed derogatory comments on Northeastern girls. Most of them are from the Northeast and finding a place to stay in Delhi is difficult for them otherwise. The hostel is the safest place for girls.” She also added that other hostels within the university such as Rajiv Gandhi Hostel and International Hostel for Women are functional.
Kholneikim Cindy Haokip, a resident of the hostel stated,“The last email from the Provost was on 8th May, where she said that the mess would function only till 31st May. She asked us to leave and arrange alternative accommodation. Whoever leaves must pack their valuables and move the rest of their belongings to another room and submit the key which is just unacceptable.”
The Provost responded by denying the allegations and stated that the students were not forced to vacate immediately. Mess workers had refused to come to work, and the authorities had asked the students to prepare themselves in case inter-state transport became functional.
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh took to Twitter and stated that the issue regarding Northeastern students’ eviction has been sorted out and they need not vacate hostels as he has spoken to the Vice-Chancellor. In addition to this, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) issued a notice on receiving a complaint against the Provost of the hostel.
The 13 stranded students were allegedly subjected to racial discrimination, insensitivity and harassment by the Provost who has threatened to close down the mess as well. The commission has asked the varsity to keep into the account the needs of the students and has asked to provide all facilities. DCW chief Swati Maliwal stated that the commission has issued a notice to the university keeping in mind the seriousness of this situation. A report will be prepared by 15th May on the actions taken regarding the complaint along with measures taken to ensure that the students are comfortable in the hostel.
Feature Image Credits: Prag News