Are JNU Students Living a Luxurious Life for Nominal Fees?

Here is what The Quint found out about the internet claims of luxurious hostels of JNU.

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Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

Students of JNU took to the streets of Delhi to protest against the draft hostel manual and fee hike, demanding a rollback. They demand that the government retain the current subsidy since most of them cannot afford education otherwise.

People on social media believe that the JNU students are making a ruckus for a nominal fee hike while they are living a luxurious life in JNU hostels by giving a minimal fee of Rs 10-20. So much so, there are claims doing the rounds on the internet stating that the JNU students stay in the campus for years due to the comfort in hostels. And not just social media, but many TV channels have claimed this.

The Quint’s Reality Check

The Quint visited the hostels to see if the students are really living a “luxurious life.” When a JNU student Tabrez Hasan opened his room, it narrated a very different story. There were no fancy beds and functional fans, but rather old shelves and broken beds.

“People are saying that we live a luxurious life at 10 rupees, but many of us are not even capable of buying tea. A man who wears a suit worth 10 lakh rupees will not understand the value of 10 rupees for us. People should come here and see for themselves.”
Tabrez Hasan, Student

Bedbugs Adding To The Problem

JNU students claim to have complained about the bedbugs time and again but no action has been taken so far. The walls are stained with the blood of bedbugs, and students complain that the walls haven’t been painted for a long time – a reason why they scribbled on the walls.

“People tell us that we stay here at mere fee of 10-20 rupees, but little do they know that that we end up spending thousands every month. The new manual that has been passed states that the students belonging to families with an annual income of 27,000 rupees or more have to contribute half to the fees which comes up to 47,000 rupees. But how does a family pay 47,000 rupees when it only earns 27,000 rupees ? My father is a farmer and if the fees hikes anymore than this, I will have to drop out of college.”
Chanchal Kumar, Student

Queue For Bathrooms

There are rooms in JNU with an occupancy of 20-25 people who have been given one small bed to sleep on. Around 40 students have to use the same common bathroom. Same has been happening with the girls. Girls told that they have to stand in queues to use the bathroom before going to the college.

MA First Year Kaifee claimed that the accusations against JNU students are false. She mentioned how everybody is fed up of the filthy conditions of the hostels.

“The people who say that we live a luxurious life at these hostels, I would want to tell them that 90% of the girls fall sick because of the filth around. We fall sick because of the dirty water that we drink. Last year, a part of the ceiling collapsed and fell on a girl’s leg. We have to take bath with cold water even during winters. Hence, this is not luxurious.”
Kaifee, Student 

Sakshi Thakur pursuing MA from JNU told us that there are people who do not get the hostel facility and end up sleeping in common rooms. “There are several dormitories where 20-25 girls stay together. They have to stand in queue every morning. The students are fighting for an affordable education and the people who believe the narrative that we stay luxuriously for 10 rupees should visit us,” Thakur said.

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