KASARGOD: Around 200 female students of the Central University of Kerala have launched an indefinite sit-in on its three campuses demanding hostel facilities for freshers. As part of ‘Occupy CUK’ protest, around 150 students draped in blankets have begun the sit-in on the science campus at Padannakkad; around 50 students on the Vidyanagar campus and another 50 on the main campus in Periya. They said they would sleep over on the campuses.
The protesters said Vice-Chancellor G Gopa Kumar had unilaterally increased the seats in each department without taking care of the boarding facilities. Teachers too attested to it.
“There is a 60 to 70 per cent shortage of rooms at both men’s and women’s hostel after the VC increased around 10 seats in each department,” said one of the coordinators of Student Refugees’ Movement, which is spearheading the protest.
The students said though they had intimated the administration of their protest, there was no move on the part of the university to address the issues. The students said there were not enough affordable hostels in and around Periya. They said the university’s hostel fee was `2,200 per six months, whereas private hostels charged `4,500 per month. “We had raised this issue at the students’ council meeting last year, but the university administration asked us not to worry about hostels and it would take care of it,” a second-year student said.
Though the issue affected the first year students, the second year students and research scholars too are participating in the indefinite sit-in, which started at 8 pm on Tuesday. The students are demanding hostel facilities at university rate and transport from those hostels to the three campuses. “The university should also ensure security of the students staying in private hostels as most of them were in seedy areas,” a student said.