An uphill battle against infra challenges - Hindustan Times

An uphill battle against infra challenges

By, Lucknow
May 12, 2024 07:44 AM IST

As part of its campus visits ahead of elections in Lucknow, HT recently spoke to students of AP Sen Girls’ College about what issues concern them the most.

While it has been a degree college since 1955, AP Sen Girls’ College still does not have a hostel for its students, many of whom come from far and wide.

Students said the lack of basic infrastructure and transportation facilities mar the aided institution (Mushtaq Ali/HT)
Students said the lack of basic infrastructure and transportation facilities mar the aided institution (Mushtaq Ali/HT)

Students said the lack of basic infrastructure and transportation facilities mar the aided institution. Around 2,000 girls are enrolled in the institution, which was first established as a school in 1902. It is located near the Charbagh railway station and affiliated to the University of Lucknow.

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Pragya Chaurasiya, a second-year B.A. student who will be voting for the first time on May 20, said, “Neither the college has any hostel facility, nor a playground or any sports infrastructure.”

Shiksha Tiwari and Kumkum, also first-time voters, must travel 30 kilometres from Mohanlalganj to attend classes every day. “We spend a lot of money and effort just to reach the college every day. Sometimes when we don’t get a bus, we’re forced to hire an autorickshaw,” Shiksha said.

Many of their classmates travel from Unnao, Barabanki and Sitapur every day.

Seconding Shiksha’s emotions, Shivangi, a first-year student, says she’s from Harauni near Kanpur and has to take a train to reach Lucknow. “Sometimes, by the time the train arrives, it’s almost the end of the college hours.”

The students demand that an on-campus hostel can resolve many of their issues.

Priyanka Sharma, from Lucknow, said that the recent competitive exam paper leaks are concerning, and the government must fill all loopholes to avoid their recurrence.

Ayushi Prajapati, a B.A. 2nd-year student, says she has to change buses to commute to the college from her home in Gomti Nagar. “I plead to the state government to provide concessional bus passes for students,” she adds.

Meanwhile, Sabroon Nisha feels unsafe commuting to the college after being subjected to catcalling on numerous occasions.

Also, the college is a centre for the ambitious Abhyudaya coaching programme of the chief minister. About 600 students are registered in the 2023-24 session. The college does not have an auditorium even for the Saturday’s motivational classes, in which all candidates participate together.

Responding to students’ demands for better infrastructure facilities, principal Rachana Srivastava said the lack of resources had kept her hands tied.

“Since we are an aided college, we don’t charge tuition fees till B.A. courses. Also, students are charged nominal amounts as library fees. Due to lack of funds, the college management cannot get the construction work done at its own level,” she said.

“In addition, Lucknow Municipal Corporation has taxed us 40 lakh (for 16 years), but the college has no money to clear the dues,” she added.

She has written to Lucknow MP Rajnath Singh requesting him to allocate funds to the college from the MP funds for the necessary infrastructure upgrade.

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