National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam visited Delhi University’s Hindu College on Wednesday and discussed issues concerning the newly constructed girls’ hostel with students.
The NCW had earlier sent a notice to the college over dress and night-out rules for hostel girls. Various complaints were raised by the 20-30 students present regarding various rules, including higher fees for the girls’ hostel as compared to boys’ one, restrictions, visitor access and the dress code.
After the student protested against these rules, the college had said it would not hold admissions to the hostel. But later it constituted a committee with students and teachers to look into the issues.
Kumaramangalam asked the students to form a strong council to raise issues about the girls’ hostel and promised to take up the matter with the University Grants Commission (UGC).
“It is a UGC-funded college, they must be able to interfere (in the issue).I’ll be talking to the secretary and seek the government’s intervention. If there is such a wide disparity in the fee structure, then it is unfair to girls who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. It is not only about gender but also discrimination against girls who cannot afford to pay such fancy fees,” said Kumaramangalam.
The former warden of the boys’ hostel, Poonam Sethi, said the hostel was built without UGC’s permission.
“Whatever fee the college is charging it needs to get permission from the UGC. They are treating it as if it is their personal land,” said Sethi.
The college authorities refused to comment.
Another student said the administration was not following the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) orders. “For the construction of the girls’ hostel, a lot of trees were cut. NGT had asked them to plant trees. Though 101 trees were planted, they are not being taken care of. The college had promised to construct a sewage treatment plant in the girls’ hostel. But till now nothing has been constructed,” said the student, who did not want to be named.