Published: 02nd June 2020
I am not only homeless, but hopeless too: Visually-impaired girl pleads with DU Hostel staff to let her stay
With no place to go, she knocked on the doors of the blind school hostel she previously stayed at as well but they refused to give her a room
Saroj, a visually-impaired student of the Delhi University, was initially asked to leave the Ambedkar-Ganguly Student's House for Women when the COVID crisis struck. And she had left thinking she had no other option. But the university then said that they were with the students during these testing times and will provide for those who had to stay back with safety and security. This brought a glimmer of hope for Saroj, currently in the final year of her Masters in Music, who had nowhere to go after her friend had to leave in a hurry. But the warden told her that she needs to wait and cannot allow her in without proper notification.
With no place to go, she knocked on the doors of the blind school hostel she previously stayed at but they refused to give her a room. "I waited in the rain the entire night but they did not let me in. My friends took me in, but then this arrangement cannot go forever. There are quite a few students staying at the hostels and all I want is my room. I will not step out. I can cook my own food. I would even pay fees if they want me to. But all I want is my room where I can stay and keep my belongings," said the visually impaired girl who is a native of Almora in Uttarakhand. "I have no support from my family and my school teachers and friends have helped me financially and supported me throughout. I have no complaints about how this has worked out but all I need is a room in the hostel. They have been asking me to wait but it has been more than two months now and there has been no change in that reply. I am not only homeless now, but hopeless too. I have been fighting battles of all kinds but this seems to be a battle I am losing. I value my life and hope the university will value it too," said Saroj who had also written to the Registrar, VC and other authorities but there has been no response yet.
We tried reaching out to the warden of her hostel but our calls went unanswered. This copy will be updated as and when they respond. Sources also informed us that when the National Commission for Women (NCW) called the hostel wardens to enquire about the issue, they were told that the hostels were closed and that they too have obligations and cannot make an exception for one person.
But Saroj is just one among those who are stuck outside the Delhi University's hostels without a place to go. Anupama Bharadwaj, who is pursuing her MPhil Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, got stuck outside the hostel when she was told that the hostels have been closed. "But then I heard that many of my friends are staying in the hostels. I contacted my warden but the conversations were in vain. She said that if I wanted to pick up my belongings, I could come to the gate and give the keys to the staff who would go to my room to pick up my stuff while I direct them what I want over a video call. This was just bizarre and being a 27-year-old woman I do not feel comfortable with others going through my stuff. There has been no proper communication with the authorities with any fruitful outcome till date," Anupama said