Students from three girls’ hostels at the University of Mumbai’s (MU) Kalina campus have raised their voice against what they call ‘discriminatory’ hostel rules.
The girls have objected to the varsity’s refusal to allow girl students to venture out of their hostels during nighttime. They have raised this issue with the university authorities and sought the intervention of education minister Vinod Tawde in the matter.
As per the rules, all students residing in the university’s six hostels are required to get a late pass or a night-out pass, if they intend to reach the hostel after 10pm or spend the night outside, respectively. However, the girls are not allowed to venture out after 11:30pm even if they have one of these passes. Besides, they are allowed a maximum of two late and five night-out passes every month. However, there are no such rules at boys’ hostels.
The issue came to light after the university agreed to open up the campus library round-the-clock, following a protest by students led by Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). However, owing to the hostel rules, the girls have been prohibited from using the library during night time.
The university said that it plans to start a reading room in the girls’ hostels to facilitate the girls studying at night. It also announced setting up a committee to come up with a solution for the issue.
However, many girl students are not satisfied with the varsity’s decision, and are demanding that the same rules be same rules be implemented at boys’ and girls’ hostels. In a letter to director of Board of College and University Development (BCUD) Anil Patil, they asked that girls be allowed to use the library at night.
“The university’s decision is discriminatory. Instead of beefing up its security, the officials are prohibiting us from going to the library. Same rules should apply to boys and girls,” said a female student, on the condition of anonymity.
Patil suggested that allowing girls to venture out late at night will jeopardise their safety. “It’s not possible for security guards to follow every girl on her way from the hostel to the library,” he said.