Panjab University’s new hostel on the south campus, which will be opened on December 23, will be named after Amrita Pritam, a leading Punjabi writer and poet of 20th century.
Official sources told the Hindustan Times that the hostel would be inaugurated by the Patiala member of Parliament and minister of state for external affairs, Preneet Kaur.
The hostel with a capacity to accommodate 350 students is the third hostel on the south campus that houses Dental Sciences College, University Institute of Engineering and Technology and University Institute of Applied Management Sciences departments. These departments have considerable number of girl students enrolled in various courses.
When contacted, dean, students’ welfare, Navdeep Goyal confirmed that the hostel would be inaugurated on December 23, adding that other details were being worked out.
A top official told HT that vice-chancellor AK Grover has zeroed in on naming the hostel after renowned Punjabi poet Amrita Pritam.
“It is a big name and many girl students look up to her. The issue of naming the hostel after Amrita is likely to be put before the syndicate in its meeting on December 5,” a top official said.
At present, PU has girls’ hostels named after Rani Laxmi Bai, Sarojini Naidu, Kasturba Gandhi and Savitri Bai Phule among others.
The university currently has eight girls’ hostels with a facility to accommodate 3,250 students. For boys too, PU has eight hostels accommodating 3,200 students. With the new hostel, the hostel facility for girls would go up to nearly 3,600 students.
“At present, there is a waiting list of around 500 students. With this facility, it will come down to merely 50-100 for the academic session as also scholars are likely to vacate hostel on completion of their courses,” the official added.
Who is Amrita Pritam
Born on August 19, 1919, at Gujranwala, Punjab province, in present day Pakistan, Amrita Pritam is considered leading Punjabi poet and writer of the 20th century.
A daughter of a schoolteacher, she started writing at a young age. At the age of 16, she came out with her first anthology of poems. She migrated to India during Partition.
She is first recipient of Punjab Rattan award and had also received Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan. She was also nominated for the Rajya Sabha.
In her career spanning over six decades, she penned 28 novels, 18 anthologies of prose, five short stories and 16 miscellaneous prose volumes. She is also widely acclaimed for her work on Partition. She died in October 2005 in Delhi.