Girls at Punjabi University hostels voice collective grievances
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Girls at Punjabi University hostels voice collective grievances

The girls complained that they were allowed to walk in the lawns after 11pm and were often made to pay ‘absurd’ fines.

punjab Updated: Oct 12, 2018 14:18 IST
Arshdeep Arshi
Arshdeep Arshi
Hindustan Times
University,Punjabi university,Patiala
Girls claim the rooms meant for one person are allotted to three persons with just two beds, one table and no chair(HT Photo)

Girl students residing in the hostels at Punjabi University, Patiala, claim to feel suffocated and say the hostels are far from what they are known— ‘second home’.

They claim allotment procedures, cleanliness, freedom to walk in the lawns inside the hostels, mess food as some of the reasons behind the same.

The students have been holding a protest for over 20 days now, demanding round-the-sclock entry in the hostels.

Not allowed to walk on lawns after 11pm

“The inside gates of the hostel buildings are closed at 11pm. We can’t even move around in lawns. Are the authorities propagating that girls are not safe from each other?,” Amandeep Kaur, a research scholar in the department of education said.

Research scholars are harassed even if they are 5-10 minutes late. Some of them have to go for surveys and are made to take several permissions for the late entry, said Simarjeet Kaur, a research scholar from department of economics.

Moreover, the rooms meant for one person are allotted to three at a time with two beds, one table and no chair, she added.

Absurd fines

Girls further claimed that they are often made to pay absurd fines. These include fines for late entry, related to mess food, cleanliness and more.

Harinder Kaur, a research scholar of department of English, who was a prefect at Amrita Shergil Hostel says, “If you forget to mark your attendance or entry while going home, spend more days at home than you entered in the register, or you are wearing shorts outside your room, you have to pay fine for it.”

Deep Kaur, a resident of Amrita Shergil Hostel said, “In a room with capacity for four students, five or even six girls are made to stay. One cannot study or rest in such a situation. Moreover, when we opt for the hostel, we don’t even know the timing. Many of the rules we are made to follow are not even displayed anywhere.”

Students even claimed that there is no transparency in room allotments. Senior students or research scholars are often not provided rooms in the hostels, while the diploma students get them due to favouritism.

Mess food is another trouble

The students even complained about the food provided in the mess. Khushman Preet, a research scholar in the department of religious studies and former head girl at Ambedkar Hostel, said, “The food is terrible and we have to pay extra to get it changed. We can’t even opt for tiffin service because nothing is allowed to be delivered at the gate after the hostel timing.”

She further mentioned that they have to pay for at least 20 diets a month even if they don’t eat.

“The reading rooms in hostels have space for around 30 people, while more than 400 girls stay here. While the same rooms where three of us live, are allotted to one PhD scholar at the boys’ hostel. Why are we not provided the same environment when we too are here to study?,” she said.

First Published: Oct 12, 2018 14:17 IST