Students held a protest outside Delhi University’s Hansraj College against the setting up of a cow protection and research centre on the campus and demanded that instead, a women’s hostel be constructed there. The Students’ Federation of India (SFI) unit of Hansraj College has been alleging that a ‘gaushala’ has been constructed at the site reserved for a women’s hostel. The students said the ‘gaushala’ will not be tolerated and a women’s hostel should be constructed at the site.
Rama Sharma, Principal, Hansraj College, has denied that it is a ‘gaushala’ and said that only one cow had been kept at Swami Dayanand Cow-Protection and Research Centre for research purposes. She has also said that architects had informed college authorities that the site where the centre has been set up is a setback area and hence, a hostel cannot be constructed there.
“The unavailability of safe and cheap residential facilities has been one of the primary difficulties faced by female students and it discourages them from leaving their hometowns and studying in cities, which is a growing problem for our country,” said Mushfin, unit secretary of SFI, Hansraj College.
The protest, which was called by the SFI, was supported by other students’ bodies like the All India Students’ Association and the Krantikari Yuva Sangathan. The students protested outside the college and carried placards with slogans like “Save Public Education”, “Prioritise Student Welfare”, “No to Saffronization of Education” and “We reclaim our campus”.
Aditi Tyagi, unit president of SFI, Hindu College, said the construction of the ‘gaushala’ is “shameful” as there are only a few hostels for women in Delhi University with exorbitant fees.
The SFI claimed that it will initiate a campaign to demand that every college builds a hostel. “The SFI will unite students across the university for this campaign,” said Abhishek Kumar, a member of SFI Delhi State Committee.