Students of Pune’s Karve Institute of Social Service fight management atrocities
The current protest is against the eviction of students from the boys hostel under the pretext that the college management was not reaping substantial profits by providing lodging to 14 pupilspune Updated: Aug 11, 2017 11:46 IST
Students of Karve Institute of Social Service (KIoSS) have been living in miserable conditions, after being evicted from the boy’s hostel within the campus. For months now, the students of KIoSS have been protesting against alleged management atrocities with no respite. First, the fee hike, now the eviction of boys from the college hostel and a ban on female students and faculty to stay within the campus premises after 3 pm, the 54-year-old institute famed to be making substantial contributions in human and social development, has been clouded in controversies now.
The current protest, which began on Friday, was against the eviction of students from the boys hostel, under the pretext that the college management was not reaping substantial profits by providing lodging to 14 pupils.
“During the admission, boys were assured accommodation at the campus hostel for a payment of Rs.15,000 per person for a year, and a deposit of Rs.1,500, all inclusive of the WiFi service and electricity. At that time, nowhere was it mentioned that 25 students was the minimum limit, it was only stated that the hostel can accommodate a maximum of 40 students. But now, we have been asked to leave without concrete reasons by the authorities,” said a protesting student, requesting anonymity.
Now the boys have been shifted to another private accommodation, with 7 students staying in a one BHK of almost 300 sq.feet, with 1 bathroom for all. They had to pay Rs.10,500 for six months, exclusive of internet and electricity. Last evening, the students complained that these rooms were flooded with water due to a bathroom leakage. Protesting against the management, for the past week, they have been living in tents, in front of the boy’s hostel. However, due to heavy downpour, some of the protesters had decided to spend the night at the hostel, thus discovering the water logging.
“We have been managing in tents under the stairs somehow. The management is seeing it all and yet completely ignoring us. Our bags are still inside the hostel with all our clothes, and we have not been able to take even a bath in the past few days. At no cost, do they even allow us to go inside the rooms during the rains or use the hostel washrooms,” grieved a female student. To solve the issue of shortage of students at the hostel, the girls had suggested the authorities to assign the lower floor to girls, with the upper floor for boys’ accommodation. The authorities, however, have not agreed yet.
Another social service student said, “In classrooms we are taught about socialism, feminism, gender equality and yet, within the boundaries of the college, their exists acute examples of gender-biases. One of it is the deadline of 3 pm for women staff and students to be within the campus.”
“Initially, it was till 9 pm, then almost 6 months ago, a notice was floated bringing the deadline earlier to 6 pm. However, in practice I don’t know why they follow the 3 pm deadline, although we were given no written statement about the same. The authorities say it is for our safety as the college is surrounded by various slums, but this very statement compromises our line of work, which is always around these communities. Most of our time is consumed with these communities on fieldwork, and honestly, now that the college does not provide us accommodation, due to our hectic schedule, we cant stay in far off locations and are forced to stay in hostels situated in these slums itself,” she added.
Deepak Walokar, director of the institute retorted stating, “These are all management decisions and they have been taken for a larger good. We didn’t know about the water logging and other problems faced by the students, so we will look into it as they have submitted the application letter today.”
The students said that the application letter was emailed and sent through speed-post without any confirmation of acceptance by the authorities.