Pune: Two weeks after students from the Northeastern states left the city in the wake of a panic-driven exodus, the University of Pune (UoP) has stepped forward with a helping hand. In a welcome initiative, the varsity has started accommodating insecure North-East students in the varsity's hostel. “Last week four girl students from different N-E states studying in different affiliated colleges of UoP were admitted in the varsity’s hostel as special case. Two more girls will be joining soon,” said Dr B R Shejwal, UoP’s hostel rector.
Although, the university’s hostel admission is closed, acting on a directive issued by UoP’s Vice-Chancellor Dr W N Gade, varsity officials have started accommodating N-E students since last week, according to Shejwal. When contacted Dr Gade said, “Yes, we have started this initiative not only for students studying on varsity campus, but also for those from affiliated colleges. I have given instructions to all principals of affiliated colleges of UoP to help lodge N-E students.”
There is an acute shortage of space in hostels, as most of them are fully occupied. “There are hardly any vacant rooms in hostels, but we have to arrange it. We have also approached the varsity’s International Students Centre asking them to provide facilities for these additional students,” said Gade.
The total capacity for girl students in the UoP hostel is 1,150, while it is 1,064 for boys. According to sources, the male hostels are already full, and hence the varsity administration is unable to house N-E male students.
When asked why the UoP had not taken these steps immediately after the attacks, the V-C replied, “We didn’t have an exact data of N-E students studying in various colleges in the city. I sent letters to principals immediately after the attacks, and that’s why the measures got a delayed.”
Meanwhile, Dr Gade while addressing N-E students at a seminar on Saturday assured them that if they have any fears regarding their security while staying in private accommodations, the university will try and provide them rooms in university hostels as a special case.