Published: 29th May 2020
To go or not to go: Why this DU hostel's residents were asked to leave during the lockdown
The letter from the Warden said that as per the University's Academic Calendar, the summer vacation will start from May 26 and the hostels have to be vacated by May 29
A notice dated May 27 from the Warden of Delhi University's Department of Social Work Hostel asked the students to vacate the premises by May 29, failing which they would have to pay a fine of Rs 200 a day and the mess facilities will be suspended. The seven students currently staying at the hostels were obviously perturbed. Even though the Warden and the President of the hostel assured them that the students will be allowed to stay without any fine and food will be made available to them, the current residents of the hostel did not seem to have any clue about what would ensue.
The letter from the Warden, Pradeep Chandra Behera, said that as per the University's Academic Calendar, the summer vacation will start from May 26 and the hostels have to be vacated by May 29. Those who continued to stay will be liable to pay a fine according to the university norms, said the notice. "How are we supposed to go home? Moreover, is it safe to travel at a time like this? There are students from remote places like Ladakh and Assam and it would be really difficult and unsafe for them to travel at this point," said a student on the condition of anonymity. "The notice talks about a rule that applies only when the term is over. But since there have been no exams till date, the hostel rule has been misinterpreted and used arbitrarily. Also, there have no such notification by the university and also in any other hostel of Delhi University," said the student adding that travelling to their native place is not only exposing them to the virus but also their family. This will only result in spreading the virus more, they added.
But what the students were unaware of is the meeting between the Hostel Students' Union and the Warden. "We have spoken to the Warden and resolved the issue. The fine incurred will be waived by the university. We have also written to the authorities for arranging mess facilities. This might take a while. So, from tomorrow, food will be arranged from the nearby Kothari Hostel. This will continue till there is a final resolution on the mess," said Pushkar Anand, President of the hostel.
Warden Pradeep Chandra Behera also said that the students had wrongly assumed that they were being evicted but everything has been resolved now. "These are extraordinary times and we would obviously help each other. No one will be evicted wrongfully. The rules states that those saying in the hostel during the vacation will have to pay a fine so the notice said that. That fee will be waived in view of the extraordinary circumstances," said Behera, whose term, sources informed, has ended but is is staying in the hostel due to the lockdown and the pandemic.