Of poor food, bad internet and a life of compromises; Tales from Pune college hostels
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Of poor food, bad internet and a life of compromises; Tales from Pune college hostels

From problems of bad food, no wifi connections, to arranging basic facilities such as fans and tubelights, hostelites in Pune have seen it all. 

pune Updated: Aug 18, 2017 10:14 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Campus Connect,Karve
Gender disparity in terms of restrictions is practiced in most hostels across the city. The girl’s hostels continue to be guarded by strict rules as opposed to the boy’s hostels.(HT PHOTO)

While students of Karve Institute of Social Service (KIoSS), continue to demand accommodation in on-campus hostels, we delve further to locate the trials and triumphs of hostel life, through the testimonies of different college hostilities.

“Hostel life, especially in terms of on-campus hostels, is a life of boundaries,limitations and compromises, and yet it has its own perks,” said Aakansha Gupta, a student of Fergusson College.

From problems of bad food, no wifi connections, to arranging basic facilities such as fans and tubelights, hostelites in Pune have seen it all.

Rachana Pardeshi, who has had the experience of two campus hostels, one at Garware College, and now at the Pune University shares that the latter is still better than the former. “As opposed to Pune University hostels, Garware hostel had lesser facilities at a larger cost. That is mostly because the university is government funded, unlike the college. Nevertheless, we did have wifi there, which has become close to a necessity for students. But, at the University there is no problem of internet. It is free and every floor of the hostel has 4 routers, making the connectivity strong enough.”

While at Garware, she used to pay almost Rs 57,000 per year inclusive of food, at the University she pays Rs 3000 for a year, and Rs 1,800 monthly for 2 meals in a day.

Yet, Rachana shared that her previous hostel had more transparency than the present one. “At Garware, respresentatives from every floor would gather a few times in the month to have a meeting with the authorities, where we would put out our problems or complaints in front of them, and they would take proper action against it. But, there is no such system in the University. One of the recurrent and most important problems is that of food. At the university they go for the cheapest deal, which is currently Rs 28 for a thali. But that often compromises on the quality. At Garware, we had the liberty to propose our own menu and complaint in case of problems with the quality.”

At Fergusson College’s girls hostel, however, the problems go beyond food. “The college does not provide wifi but worse is that we have to make arrangements for our own fans and tubelights. All we are given is a bed, a table, a cupboard and a chair. Buying mattresses and pillows is fine, but I would expect atleast a fan and a tubelight, for the Rs 47,550 that I have spent,” rued, shared Priya Chatterjee (name changed on request), a B.A English student.

However, Gupta feels that such compromise is not a big deal, “It’s true that the building is old and in need of renovation, we have paid extra for it. But, honestly, living in the midst of the hubbub of the city at FC road, at such a low cost inclusive of food is not something you could get outside. Rest, a little compromise here and there is fine.”

Sandhya Gaikwad, a third-year undergraduate student added, “Initially the hostel fee was some Rs 36,000 which has increased to Rs 47,550, but during online payments it further increases. When we asked the authorities for the reason, we were told that it was for renovation, so we are waiting to see the change.”

The hostel has 6 bathrooms, with timings of hot-water starting from 6 am to 10 am, which students claim creates a lot of chaos during the rush hours.

Problem of water further extends in several other on-campus hostels, Bharatiya Vidhyapeeth’s hostel being one of them. “Although they maintain the cleanliness and facilities are there as per the Rs 91,000 that we have paid, but the problem of adequate number of bathrooms exists anyway. Almost 8 people share one bathroom, which becomes a huge issue especially during weekdays and tight schedules,” said Shantanu Srivastav, an MBA student of Bharati Vidyapeeth University.

Another problem of hostilities, as pointed out by a few was restrictions.

A year ago, Fergusson College’s hostel rules banned cellphones in the premises. Although it has been revoked, the girl’s hostel continues to be guarded around strict rules of curfew as opposed to the boy’s hostel.

“Our in-time as per the rules is 8 pm and then the gate closes at 9 pm. This becomes a huge issue especially when we have projects or assignments, or even tuition classes. During the weekend, on Sundays, it does get extended to 8.30. But the problem is that this issue is only with the girl’s hostel. For buys the deadline is 10, which is kind of unfair,” said Chatterjee.

Harping on the same lines, Dhanishka Nagda, a student of Bharati Vidyapeeth feels that the gendered disparity in terms of restrictions continues to be practiced everywhere. “It’s a well known fact that boys always have more liberty, especially in India,” she said.

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 10:13 IST