Demand to increase EBC hostels in the state
After colleges in the state reopened on February 15 after almost a year’s gap, students have started coming back to Pune, Mumbai and other major cities to resume offline studies.
One of the major issues that students are facing is accommodation, for the students belonging to the economically backward class (EBC) category the state government has given only 11 hostels across the state.
Surprisingly, way back in 1973, the then state education department had issued orders to provide hostel facilities to all the EBC students in the state. But until now no new hostels were built or extended by the state government for these students.
“Today, thousands of students come to Pune and Mumbai for their education and studies and the majority of the students from rural areas are economically backward. They are from the farmers’ family and cannot afford the heavy fees of private hostels or the rent for a separate home. So, for such students, the state education department had issued a circular in 1973 for building hostels in which it is clearly stated that hostels should be provided with free lodging and boarding to the students,” said Amar Ekad, president of Cops students’ organisation, Maharashtra state.
“Detailed information of how these hostels should be, the strength of students and the functioning are given in this order. But in the last so many years none of the educational officers worked on it and gave hostel facilities to EBC students. We are following up on this issue and repeatedly sent official letters to the state education department to start the process of building hostels across the state for EBC students.” he added.
In the order issued by the state education department on July 3, 1973, it is stated, “A section for the warden, senior clerk, junior clerk, peon, maidservant, watchman, sweeper, cook, part-time visiting medical officer should be there at the hostel. An amount of ₹60,000 should be sanctioned per annum to per hostel.”
Maharashtra director of higher and technical education, Dhanraj Mane said, “The demand raised by students has been forwarded to the higher officials at the education department and accordingly further action will be taken.”