Published: 22nd March 2020
COVID-19: UoH admin asks students to vacate, hostelites panic as trains overcrowded, flights unaffordable
The administration issued the notice two days ago asking students to vacate their hostels by Monday morning as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19
Despite the Central government asking students to stay put wherever they are and not travel to their home towns, the University of Hyderabad administration has allegedly been forcing students to vacate. The Students' Union has criticised the move as several students continue to stay on campus as they have been unable to go home and prefer to stay on campus to avoid crowds.
The administration issued the notice two days ago asking students to vacate their hostels by Monday morning as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19. The students were informed that they would keep the mess running over the weekend during which time the students can make arrangements to go home. But the last meal would be served on Monday morning, after which the hostels would be closed and water and electricity supply would be cut off.
The Students' Union is demanding that the administration keep the hostels open for the students as the ones remaining are those who have not been able to afford flight tickets to go back home. Also due to the fact that the government has itself advised students not to take trains, they don't want to risk travelling by them. "Most students have already left campus. So there are only very few left, so the administration can allow those few students to stay back," a Union member said.
He said the students are panicking because of the notice and have no idea what to do. The Union has also not been able to reach out to the administration because its the weekend and are holing to deliberate with them tomorrow. "The decision was taken without consulting the Union. Students are scared to travel by trains because they know that it is risky and they cannot afford flight tickets, so where will they go? The MHRD has also said that administrations must provide the students with facilities if they are unable to go home," he explained.
"When we had an informal talk with the Pro VC, he had said that it is because of the pressure from government that we had to force the students to leave but on the other hand adminstration has also released a note claiming students are roaming outside without informing authorities which is dangerous to faculty and their family members. How can the administration shamelessly make such statements. Does that mean faculty and family members health matters more than putting students life at risk?" the student asked.
"The administration is worried about the spread of the virus but most students have left campus. We know because they are supposed to leave the hostel cards here and we have most of the cards and there are some who would have forgotten to leave them back too," he said.
The Union is waiting to hold a discussion with the administration tomorrow. "They cannot ask the students to leave when the government itself has warned us against travel," they claim.
Besides asking students to vacate, the administration has also asked heads of departments to create a schedule so only 50 percentage of the teachers are working on campus and the remaining are working from home. All eateries, shops and other establishments have been closed and all academic activities have been postponed. Works engaged in sanitation, security and health have to continue working and no outsider would be allowed on campus and if they do need to come in, the administration is mandating a visit to the health centre. The administration has also stated that the orders would remain in force till April 6.