Women students pay an average of Rs 2,958 more than men for undergraduate hostels every month and Rs 2,614 more for postgraduate hostels, a study has found.
The study — conducted by a group of students running a campaign against ‘discriminatory hostel timings’ — found that while women paid a monthly average of Rs 8,083 while staying in undergraduate hostels, male students paid just ` 5,125 per month. At the postgraduate level, women students paid a monthly average of Rs 7,140 while their male counterparts paid just Rs 4,526.
The study was conducted on charges paid for ten months in 13 undergraduate hostels and 12 postgraduate hostels. “Women pay Rs 29,580 more at the undergraduate level and ` 26,140 more at the postgraduate level for over ten months,” the study conducted by Pinjra Tod campaign said.
The campaign, which began last August, is made up of women students from DU, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Ambedkar University and National Law University.
“Women have to fight a lot of social stigmas and prejudices to be able to study in universities. The university should be financially aiding them and not penalizing them for it by making it difficult for them to manage their expenses. We have not covered all the hostels in our study, but some of the main ones,” said Devangana Kalita, a member of the campaign.
University officials, however, said that hostels are run on a noprofit-no-loss basis and there is no discrimination. “The university and colleges have no role in deciding the hostel charges. All hostels have their own governing body which decides the hostel charges. These charges are at a no profit no loss basis. The charges can differ based on facilities provided but there is no discrimination,” a senior DU official said.
The study also claimed that the postgraduate men’s hostels do not require any hostellers to vacate their hostel after every session. “However, postgraduate women hostels ask women hostellers to vacate their rooms after each sessin. It is only at the MPhil level that women can stay on like their male counterparts,” Kalita said.