Students of various colleges have been allotted Mahatma Phule Government Boys Hostel at Jogeshwari in Mumbai, Maharashtra, which is in dilapidated condition.
Report- Kishor Sasane
The moribund building can collapse anytime. The students remain frightened because of this. They are apprehensive that the hostel building can collapse anytime. They don’t even dare to enter the building or step at the door or in the vicinity of the building. The students have been forced to live outside the building, where they are facing heat, wind, and rain etc. They have to learn to fight despite having the right aptitude for education. In the state of Maharashtra that too in Mumbai, the students have to live at the edge for education. This is outrageous.
But the most important thing is the apathy of the Maharashtra government. Even though the students are entitled to utilize the facilities provided by the government, they have been deprived of it at the hostel for the past several months. So all the students have made demands together. The Assistant Commissioner of Social Welfare was reached on 22 October 2022 and directed the authorities to fulfill the demands. But till now their demands have not been fulfilled. When a female journalist came to report about the said hostel, the slab of the building was falling down and despite this, the government does not pay heed to it.
The students have now resorted to agitation. They are demanding that the building should be demolished by the government and a new building should be constructed. Otherwise, the students’ agitation will escalate. The condition of the hostel in Mumbai can be used to gauge the conditions of other hostels run by the Maharashtra Government. This is true that the Maharashtra government is playing with the lives of students. For many years students have been staying in hostels in very poor conditions. Where they have to live in an abandoned building. Even when student organizations make requests to the Social Welfare Department of Maharashtra, the demands are not met. The issue has also been raised on social media, but even after that the Maharashtra government or social welfare department are glossing over the complaints.
The demands made by the students
1. Garbage in and around the hostel should be disposed of. E.g., Proper segregation of corridors, dry waste or wet waste
2. Abandoned goods are not collected for disposal therefore foul smells and diseases are increasing in the area.
3. A large part of the building needs renovation.
4. Library and computer room (with wifi and printer)
5. The monthly allowance of students is pending for several months. The stationery for the academic year was not received last year as well. Kindly ensure that timely payment is made to the students as they find it hard to survive in a city like Mumbai.
6. The water storage tank, and drinking water purification machine in the hostel is damaged and unhygienic; kindly check them and make sure that at least clean and pure water is available.
7. Fans and tube lights have not been installed in many places. It should also be noted that they are not working at many places. Without these basic facilities our studies are being impacted, therefore we request to address these issues on a priority.