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Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University: Denied hostel facility, Dalit student camps on campus

A Dalit student at the Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU) has started living in a makeshift ‘tent’ on the campus, as the varsity allegedly did not provide him hostel accommodation.

lucknow Updated: Sep 27, 2018 12:47 IST
Rajeev Mullick
Rajeev Mullick
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University,BBAU,Lucknow
Rohit Singh in his makeshift tent on BBAU campus.(HT Photo)

A Dalit student at the Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU) has started living in a makeshift ‘tent’ on the campus, as the varsity allegedly did not provide him hostel accommodation.

Rohit Singh, a first year student of MA (Education), claims that he comes from a humble background and stood third in the entrance test but the university administration refused to entertain his application for hostel allotment.

‘Students can’t avail hostel facility second time’
  • “As per university rule, if students availed hostel facility while pursuing any degree in the past, they cannot avail the facility for the second time while pursuing another degree. Rohit is among those students,” said Rachna Gangwar, spokesperson, BBAU.

He earns his livelihood through home tuitions and earns around Rs 4,000 a month to fund his higher studies.

“My father is a poor farmer in Lakhimpur Kheri and we have three brothers and a sister. Being the eldest among siblings, I now take tuitions to fund my expenses. I cannot afford a rented accommodation. Pitching a tent was the only option left before me,” he said.

Rohit is living on a small cemented platform on the campus and installed a huge poster of Dr Ambedkar, whom he regards as his role model and source of inspiration. When he attends classes, he requests the university guard to look after his belongings in the tent.

Last month, this Dalit student had written letters to BBAU officials to let him camp on the campus. He had also asked for a 10 m long rope, a 10x15 ft tent, a bulb, a mat and 10x15 ft space so that he could pitch a tent.

In a letter to dean, students welfare (DSW) BS Bhadauria and others, Rohit wrote: “I’m a regular student of the university. I got a rank on the merit list, yet the university has not provided me hostel accommodation. My family’s financial position is not good. I need a hostel room as I cannot afford a rented accommodation. So far, they have not been able to allot me a hostel room.”

He alleged that the university administration had a grudge against Dalit students and harassed them by not allotting them hostel accommodation. “But I wanted to continue with higher studies and hence requested the university administration to provide me the required material so that I could pitch a tent and stay there,” said Rohit.

He said: “I had pursued M Sc (applied chemistry) course at the university in 2015. But I had to leave it mid way after completing the first year because my father met with a serious accident. That time I was allotted a hostel. But this year, university officials said old students will not be allotted hostel room.”

Rohit claimed that the university declared a list of students who were alloted hostels. One main and three other waiting lists were declared, but his name did not figure on any of those.

First Published: Sep 27, 2018 12:47 IST