For the thousands of students that migrate to better education centres, life turns out to be more than torturous. Chasing dreams for a better and prosperous future, most of them are made to compromise on the basic necessities of life. The census of 1991 and 2001 have revealed that almost 24% of total migrants having graduate and post graduate degree have migrated to Delhi alone. While a miniscule percentage of students actually find a place in the university campus, a majority of them are forced by the circumstances to live in the slum like localities at preposterously priced accommodations. Notes Delhi University Law student Talib Ansari, “A major chunk of the students that live in North Delhi have come from far-off places. There is a major network of landlords and their associates that benefit from them. But in return what is offered to them are either unventilated rooms or unhygienic eateries, that is slum in metro cities.” The story doesn’t start or end with Delhi. In cities like Patna and Allahabad, similar areas have euphemistically earned the title of ‘alternative university areas’.
Worse is the condition of the woman hosteler, who has to accept rigorous restrictions to her independence, freedom of expression, timings, relationships, privacy, in order to be “allowed” dormitory space in many of the so called PG (paying guest) accommodations. Though specific hostel rooms for women have been promoted, they remain pitiably handful few for a nation spawning innumerable educated immigrants. Of course, cities are developing ‘master plans’. But could we also have Bachelor’s and Master’s plans please?