With Jamia Millia Islamia yet to reopen its hostels even after shifting to offline classes, some students have not returned to campus citing difficulties in arranging private accommodation.
The university had shifted back to offline classes for all students, except those in the first year, on July 18 and classes for first-year students started on August 1. However, hostels continue to remain closed with the administration citing renovation and construction work.
“As all are aware that due to the pandemic, all the hostels of the University were closed, therefore, there is a dire need for getting them renovated before allotting it to students as well as construction of some new hostels for the students… the allotment of hostels will be done only after completion of renovation/construction of all the hostels,” read a notification issued by Registrar Nazim Jafri.
While the university had announced that it reopened with a 70% turnout, some students say that the lack of hostel allotment is keeping them away from Delhi.
One of them is Aliza Anjum, a final-year law student at the university. While offline classes began for her on July 27, she is still in her home in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. “My father is a pensioner. Since hostels are not reopening, my parents are of the opinion that it would be a grave financial crisis to pay a higher rent for a PG or flat, as well as food and travel expenses. Since classes are now being conducted completely offline, I am missing out on many things,” she said.
A final year BTech student from Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad said he has not been able to find any affordable options. “I used to live in the hostel before the pandemic. I have not been able to arrange for any private accommodation now. I have also asked my friends in Delhi to look around but many PGs are full and many are too expensive. I have financial constraints, my father is a farmer. I just ask my friends what is being taught in the classrooms and am trying to keep up,” he said.
Students who have returned to Delhi and who were hostel residents before the pandemic have had to make alternative arrangements.
“I am currently putting up at a friend’s flat, where six of us are living in a two-bedroom apartment. I can’t afford to pay rent for a flat myself or a PG. We have not yet received a timeline for when we can expect the hostels to reopen,” said Md. Huzaifa, a final year law student.