Search for suitable accommodation is one among many problems faced by students

With the first phase of mission admission coming to an end in Delhi University on Monday, out-of-town students have more to deal with than the difficult task of getting admission in a decent college in the face of ridiculously high-cut offs — the search for suitable accommodation.

Out of the nine colleges in Delhi University’s North Campus, eight have hostels and out of this only five have accommodation for women. Shortage of hostels more often than not leads to girls usually giving up on the college. Hindu College had laid the foundation stone for a girls’ hostel, but is yet to complete construction.

“I want to study in a co-ed college on North Campus and with my 90 per cent I am sure I will get into most of the nice ones here. However, I will be forced to study in a girls’ college because unless I get into St. Stephen’s College and its hostel, I will have to look for a PG accommodation and that is something I do not want to do,” said Sneha Joshi, who has come from Jaipur to apply in DU this past week, and was also using the time to enquire about alternative accommodation arrangements elsewhere on the campus.

“A tiny room, which I can barely move about freely, will have to be shared with another girl and the asking rate is a minimum of Rs.10,000 with air-conditioning and electricity charges to be paid separately,” she added. Last year, a group of students had gone on an indefinite hunger strike demanding new hostels from the university administration and to work out with local landlords to fix feasible rent and also raised security issues. “We ended our strike when the university promised to redress our grievances and also agreed to look at our suggestions, which were in the memorandum. However, nothing was done after that,” said Praveen Kumar Singh, who had organised the strike.

The desperation to get an accommodation is intense among students. “I know this boy in my class who didn’t get into a hostel anywhere and could not afford to rent out a house. Since there was a shortage of PGs for boys, he would beg me to sneak him inside my hostel room, promising to wash my clothes and doing other errands to return the favour,” said Pradeep Phogat, a first-year law student who lives in the Jubilee Hall, men’s hostel.

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