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HOSTELS OF DU: ADJUSTING TO THE POST COVID TIMES

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Hostels are an integral part of DU and also are a necessity for students who arrive here from all over the nation. However, delaying of hostel admissions due to CoVID-19 seems to have derailed the hope of many. Read on to find out.

As universities across India are preparing for the admission season, hostellers are in a dilemma. This year, the University of Delhi is not conducting hostel admissions alongside the college admissions. The principals of different colleges across DU have no intention to open the hostels till January 2021, next year.

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The pandemic has claimed a total of 903 deaths in the last 24 hours, which have pushed the overall total death count to 1,02,685 in India. With such panic all around, wardens and officials of universities are taking the needful steps. They are also restricting some facilities to meet the norms of Covid-19.

Pandemic, Finances and Safety

Poonam Verma, principal of Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, which has hostels for both male and female students, described the reopening of hostels as a, “challenge” for them. She said, “Till the time classes continue online, we will not provide hostel facilities. But once the hostels have to open, we may consider converting the triple sharing rooms into a two-seater. It will not be possible to give a single room to all the students”, reported TOI.

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Also Read | DU to reopen Hostels for Students

The principal of Hindu College, Anju Srivastava, hoped-for guidance on reopening of hostels from the authorities. “The first disinfection effort will be hampered because of the belongings left behind by the earlier hostellers who had to exit in haste”, she said. While also adding, “For the health and safety of students, we will have to reduce the intake, but increasing hostel fees might not be feasible because of the hardship faced by many students.”

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Despite Srivastava’s observation, many believe that the CoVID restrictions, especially the reduction in the number of students staying in the hostels, will lead to an increase in hostel fees. Some colleges hostels run on self-financing mode and do not receive funds from University Grants Commission.

PGs: The Last Ray of Hope

While the online classes have started, the reopening of offline classes still remains a mystery. The students who were not able to go back home and are still staying at their PG’s are facing numerous problems despite proper sanitation from the PG owners. This is a reminder that things can not go back to normal as it were before the pandemic. One such student, Nitish Jha who is originally from Bihar but is staying in Kolkata for his studies, did not get a chance to go back home, since the conditions back home were not that good.

He says, “Not everyone is back from home and initially it used to be lonely and weird but I got used to it now. I do not step outside, neither I eat food from outside, except for the usually packed snacks and tetra pack juices. I am cooking my own food since the beginning, following the social distancing. Life has been rather boring considering we don’t go outside and I hope 2020 gets over real soon.” Nitish is a student of the Academy Of Technology, Kolkata who mentioned that his PG owner sanitizes his PG once in a while to prevent any bacterias.

On the other hand, students from Jamia Millia Islamia are not allowed to step outside either. “Bona-fide hostel residents were required to carry a recent COVID -ve certificate, and on arrival, they underwent the usual checks plus had their baggage disinfected,” revealed Ahmed Azeem, Jamia PRO.

“They are not allowed to leave the hostels except for their exams.”

Not just University of Delhi but universities and colleges from all over India are taking the needful steps to disinfect and sanitize their hostels for the students but due to the fear of CoVID, parents are being too sceptical about sending their wards to hostels. The universities too, are trying to avoid any human interaction but with such rules and regulations, it is the students who are at loss.

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