Students deprived of basic comforts in government hostel in Pune

Sep 15, 2014, 02:07 IST | Niranjan Medhekar

Occupants of the rooms in Sant Dyaneshwar Hostel of Social Welfare Department say the accommodation lacks basic amenities; accuse SWD officials of giving hollow assurances about looking into their complaints

Despite it having the reputation for being an educational hub, the government machinery seems to be least interested in ridding the city’s academic institutions of red tape and corruption.

list of demands
Students display a copy of the list of demands (circled) they submitted at the office of the SWD assistant commissioner last week

It has been three months since the new academic year commenced in June, but even now the students residing at the Sant Dyaneshwar Hostel of Social Welfare Department (SWD) are complaining about the lack of basic amenities at the facility. Despite complaining to the SWD officials on a regular-basis, nothing has happened till date.

Frustrated with the “hollow” assurances they have been receiving from the officials, students approached SWD assistant commissioner Ravindra Kadam Patil last week and submitted a list of 13 demands.

Some of the demands were: availability of clean drinking water, repairing of the defunct electronic appliances in the rooms, round-the-clock access to the library, which has been shut for the past few days, and cleaning of the unhygienic dining hall.
Located near Pune station, the hostel is meant for students from scheduled caste (SC), scheduled tribes (ST) and economically backward sections of the society.

Besides, the hostel management is also expected to give a monthly allowance of R800 to every student. But, for the past three months, none of the students have received the allowance.

Afraid of repercussions
When this correspondent spoke to the students about the hardships they have been facing, most of them requested that we refrain from reporting on their problems as this might result in the students being expelled from the hostel.

They also said that most of them were financially incapable of affording a room by paying the market rent. Those who spoke did so on condition anonymity.

“We have been suffering for the last three months. The assistant commissioner has given us his word that all the issues would be resolved within a fortnight. We don’t have an option, but to believe him,” said a student.

Despite repeated attempts Kadam Patil remained unavailable for comment.

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