Marginalised students protest for better hostel facilities


Mumbai: A section of students from marginalized communities have launched an indefinite strike since last week demanding better conditions including improvement in hostel facilities, accommodation and stipends. The protests began on 12 February at Sant Eknath Government Boys Hostel in Chembur.
Students argue that the current stipend of Rs 800 per month is inadequate to meet their daily needs, especially in a metropolitan city like Mumbai. According to a student, this stipend amount was fixed in 2011, and despite the government proposal to revise it every five years, it has remained unchanged for the last 12 years. These stipends are allocated to students living in hostels managed by the government under the Department of Social Welfare and Justice. The student claims that there are more than 400 such hostels in the state.
Furthermore, students claim that a hostel promised in 2007 with a capacity of 1,000 students is still not operational. They allege that construction started only in 2023. Additionally, students claim that the government has made no efforts to increase hostel facilities for the long-privileged students. They have prepared a list of 16 demands, which include timely provision of allowances and stationery to hostel students, and action against colleges that force marginalized students to pay fees.

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