'As Jamia Renovates Hostels, I Met Students Struggling To Find Accommodation'

Apart from the issues of availability and affordability, women students are also concerned about their safety.

My Report
4 min read

Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Video Editor:
Puneet Bhatia

Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi has resumed its offline classes and most students have begun attending classes in person. But due to the unavailability of hostel facilities, outstation students are struggling to find accommodation.

I met some of the students studying at the central university to understand the issues they are facing.

Ayesha, a Bachelor's student from the department of Turkish Language and Literature, who hails from Gaya in Bihar, says:

"We haven't got a hostel room, because of which we are living in a rented flat. We are sharing the flat with our classmates. When we have to stay on campus till late at night to study at the library, it gets difficult for us to get a rickshaw to go home. It's dark and we are scared as there are others sharing the rickshaw, with whom we are not comfortable."
Ayesha, Student

Jamia has resumed offline classes.

(Photo courtesy: Owais Siddiqui)


Several students, especially women, complained about the facilities at paying-guest accommodations.

"Paying-guest facilities are available in very small spaces and are at a distance. We can't study till late at night in the campus library; we have to rush back to our places, which is not safe for us."
Shazia, Student

Several outstation students are finding it difficult to get accommodation. 

(Photo Courtesy: Owais Siddiqui)


"I come from Bihar. I, personally, faced a problem. Recently, at around 3 am, I was feeling unwell. It got very difficult for me to get an auto-rickshaw. If I was staying at a hostel, I would have gotten help easily from students and wardens, and the first-aid facilities would have also been available," says Dilnasheen Arzoo, a Bachelor's student.

'Living Outside Campus Unaffordable'

When Jamia was providing hostel facilities, it used to charge us around Rs 7,500, annually, while a basic flat in nearby localities would be around Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per month, along with an additional security deposit, which is usually shared among 2-3 students.

In my conversation with these students, I realised that not many of them come from financially sound families; so, for them, it gets difficult.

"I come from Kolkata. When I was planning and preparing to take admission at Jamia, my parents asked me how I will be able to manage life in Delhi. My father is a taxi driver. I told them it was a matter of 3-4 months and then I would be able to get a hostel because I come from another city. The renovation of the hostel, as per Jamia, isn't complete yet. They were planning to finish all the work by January, but in these 8-9 months, we haven't got any positive response from Jamia."
Md Shanawaz, Student

Sufiyan Ali, who comes from Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, told me that before taking admissions at Jamia Millia Islamia, he didn't know anyone in Delhi and had a very hard time finding a place to stay.

"More than our studies, we are mostly stressed about managing our expenses. If we get a hostel, then that tension is over. To take a rented room, we have to pay an advance for it and then a security deposit. For now, there is no schedule for food and it's difficult to manage. If we get a hostel, then food and accommodation are sorted. All we need to do is to concentrate on studies."
Sufiyan Ali, Student

Students are forced to stay at residential localities near the university.

(Photo Courtesy: Owais Siddiqui)

To understand the problems these students were facing, I went to Abul Fazal Enclave, a nearby locality where some students reside in rented flats. I went inside a very small space converted into a 2BHK apartment. Everything was very cramped.

And since the flat was in a residential locality, students complain that it is very disturbing for them while they are studying, as it is very noisy. 

Students demand that the hostel facilities be resumed at the earliest and that the number of rooms be increased. 


Jamia Millia Islamia's Response to The Quint

"The hostels were closed for two years, so it needs renovation. Also, we are constructing two more floors on top of the existing hostel building. So, it's not safe to allot the hostel rooms in the present condition. We hope to reopen the hostel by 15 November," said Prof. Nizam Jafri, Registrar, Jamia Millia Islamia.

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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