NEW DELHI: About 13-odd Delhi University students stuck in the North Eastern Students House for Woman are in a fix as they have been asked to vacate the hostel by May 31. While Provost Rita Singh has asked the students, mostly from the Northeastern states, to leave as soon as possible citing the expiry of mess contract by month-end, the students are in distress as they have nowhere to go.
In an e-mail to hostel president, the Provost said given the uncertain scenario in view of the coronavirus, “we will have to close the hostel by May-end”. While the hostel has a capacity of about 100, currently 13 students are stuck there because of lockdown.
Singh’s letter said, “I had earlier informed that the mess will be running only till May 31 as the contract will end this month. Residents are advised to vacate the hostel and move to safer places as soon as possible. Flights may open in a few weeks and trains are running for students; you have to find the best for you.”
ALSO READ | A need now but no replacement: Teachers share concerns about online classes during COVID-19
Crying foul at the ‘order’, hostel president Christina, said, “This is mental harassment of students. Most of them are from Northeast and finding a place to stay in Delhi is difficult for them even otherwise. How can one find a house in current situation? Hostel is safest place for the girls at present. The university has not issued any such order. Other hostels like Rajiv Gandhi Hostel and International Hostel for Woman, where 50-60 girls are staying, are functioning.”
Another anguished student said, “Other hostels have said they will provide safety and food to the residents till the lockdown ends. It’s only our hostel authorities who are enjoying the quarantine in their houses and asking the students to vacate.”
The Provost denied the allegations.
“We are not forcing them to vacate immediately. For last two months, the hostel has been providing all facilities. Now, the mess workers are refusing to continue to work. Also, the guards and hostel staff are coming from COVID-hit areas. So, the students have been asked to prepare to leave if inter-state transport opens so that they can reach home safely.”