Mangaluru: The educational hub, Mangaluru is an abode of migrant students from across the country. Mushrooming of countless women’s hostels and paying-guest facilities are not new phenomena here. But the struggles with which students survive in these private hostels are often unnoticed by the authorities. The absence of proper mechanisms to monitor the functioning of these institutions endangers the safety of women and students within and outside their premises. Though most of the educational institutions provide accommodation facilities, there is restraint in accommodating all their migrant students. It has become an opportunity for mushrooming private hostels and PG’s by private individuals. It is compulsory for all the hostels in the city to register with the district collectorate or get an occupancy certificate from the municipality. They will in turn share the data with the local police stations. But lack of monitoring and unauthorized functioning of hostels and PG’s cause troubles in the city.
A student from a Paying Guest house at Athavara opined, “I live in a PG, where the house owner has provided accommodation above his residence by attracting students and parents with glittering promises. But the real life in this hostel is a miserable. They try to fit four to seven students within a small room beyond its occupant capacity. When issues were brought to the notice of the owner, they rudely behaved and totally ignored us. They are least bothered about availing us facilities.”
Even after paying a minimum charge of 4500/5000 per month, unhealthy, spoilage and insufficiency are the common complaints regarding food. Lack of bathroom facilities, cleanliness, theft and extra charges for electricity usage (250 per individual) to charge laptop and mobile phones are common obstacles for hostlers.
“In Mangalore I had been to various hostels and seen many of my friends complain about their hostels. The major issue which I felt was whenever an occupant falls sick there is absolutely no care taken and hostlers have to find a means to reach the hospital even if it is in midnight, which is quite dangerous for a woman, in a city like this. This ignorance is not only shown in case of medical emergencies, but also with the food they provide,” said a working woman residing at a well known hostel at Jeppu.
Mangaluru immediately requires a complaint cell, proper monitoring facilities to look for any violations pertaining to women’s safety and functioning of these institutions. There is a need for counseling facilities. “In many private ladies hostels I have come across disturbances from lesbians who take it for granted that, they are away from their home and no monitoring happens in their hostels. They usually influence, tempt and misuse other innocent girls who stay with them,” said a girl from a hostel at Hampankatta. Girls/women adjust to these turmoils for several reasons, like fear of being away from hometown, poor economic background, laxity in discipline or timetable for inmates, lack of local support and unavailability of a proper mechanism to complain.
Releasing of the list of registered hostels and paying guest to various educational institutions to update this information on their websites is the need of the hour since the admissions in most of the college admissions begins in May.
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