Published: 10th March 2020
Firm on discipline, DUSU calls for same hostel curfew for boys and girls
DUSU President Akshit Dahiya said that the Students' Union agrees that the fees for the hostel are too high but also reiterated that the curfew timings only bring discipline
As the residents of the Delhi University's women's hostels continue their protest against discriminatory curfew timings and lack of amenities in hostels, the varsity's Students' Union said that they feel that there should be a fixed time by which every student — whether male or female — should come back to the hostels. The Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) President Akshit Dahiya also added that the Union is in support when it comes to the issue of exorbitant fees and they will resume talks with the administration about issues like these right after Holi.
Dahiya said that the Students' Union reiterated that the curfew timings only bring discipline to a student's life and are necessary. "But it should not be different for boys and girls. We are against that discrimination. There should be a certain time by which you are required to get back to the hostel. Would you be coming and going as you wish in the middle of the night at home? Then why do it in the hostel?" he asked.
Responding to the fact that keeping the library open round the clock does not help students unless they are allowed to stay back and study at night, Akshit added that the hostels should have their own libraries. "Some already do and the ones which don't have should have one built. We will talk to the administration about that right after Holi. I had opened my office and made it into a makeshift library and around 50 to 60 students could study there when there was the need and I would gladly do that again," he said.
The administration has mostly been silent about the issue and enquiries made of the Provosts and wardens did not yield any reply. "As far as the reply from the administration is concerned, a meeting with all important authorities and students will probably take place after March 15," said Amisha Nanda, one of the women spearheading the protests.
The students' protests completed 13 days on March 10 and the girls have garnered support from student communities across the nation along with solidarity from the civil society. On March 9, the protestors burnt the effigy of the VC as the administration "is paying no heed to the demands of the women residents of Delhi University". The students have received support from various organisations like the National Students' Union of India (NSUI) and Progressive Democratic Students’ Federation (PDSF) and students from institutions like IIMC along with student activists from JNU.
Pallavi Raj, a postgraduate student of Political Science at the varsity said that there were changes in the demeanour of the hostel staff and administration after the protests gained force. "There have been instances, in the past few days, where girls have been called and asked about the mess food and how it can be improved. They are taking notice but there has been no formal meeting or announcement to this effect yet," she said.
Pallavi was also issued a notice that asked her to concentrate on studies after the protests started. But she dubbed it illegal and asked for proper show-cause notice. There has been no reply from the administration since. Pallavi, a resident of the North East Students' House for Women (NESHW) was issued the letter by the Provost of the house, Dr Rita Singh. We tried to contact Dr Singh but failed. The copy will be updated with her inputs as and when we receive them.