At least for two to three years, a Hansraj College wallboard read, “site for girls’ hostel”. Now it is replaced with a cow conservation and research centre called, “Swami Dayanand Gau Sanwardhan Evam Anusandhan Kendra.”
The college has no hostel facility for girls. Every time NAAC visited or girls demanded a hostel, the board was promisingly pinpointed and shoddy paperwork blamed for the delay.
An explanation given for having a cow shed inside the campus was cutting down the expense of buying pure ghee for monthly pujas and getting sustainable.
“Ours is a DAV Trust college, and its base is the Arya Samaj. During the havan, we felicitate all the people who have their birthdays that month. For this, every month, we need to go to the market to buy the things that we need to offer to the flame, such as pure ghee. We can be self-sufficient now in this,” Principal Dr. Rama said, reported Indian Express.
“Another idea is that when the hostel opens, there can be pure milk and pure curd for the students,” she added.
However, students have disagreements with the college’s talk on sustainability.
“Having no hostel is a huge financial burden on girls. The college neighborhood accommodations are costly,” a student said to Maktoob.
“Mostly girls hesitate to apply for Hansraj when they come to know that there is no hostel,” said a student who worked at the admission help desk.
Recently when students protested fee raise demanding reduction or provision to pay fees in installments, both requests were turned down by the administration. The principal even allegedly asked why come to Hansraj if you can’t afford the fee.
The cow centre now accommodates one cow and the principal has said more cows will follow if researches turn out to be beneficial.
“We find it disgusting that our college administration prioritises the ‘protection and promotion’ of cows instead of struggling female students whose interests are being sidelined for such an absurd decision,” read a statement issued by the Students’ Federation of India.
“ost of us are well aware that the symbol of a cow is used to embody and encourage the principles of Hindutva, we can see that in our society with the rise of violence under the garb of Cow Vigilantes as well as in our education sector with the introduction of a national cow exam by the UGC not too long ago,” the left body alleged.
“Hansraj college administration should withdraw its plan to construct the cow protection and research centre which will promote rituals that would impose Hindutwa traditions upon students. The college reopening and a women’s hostel is what the college is in need of at the time,” read a statement by Fraternity Movement Delhi University.
Fraternity Delhi University has condemned this strange idea of the college administration and demands a complete withdrawal from the same.
The principal denies the claim and said that the girls’ hostel is her dream project.
“The area is too small for our plan for a hostel, which will accommodate at least 100 students. That site is not reserved for the hostel. We are going through many formalities to construct the hostel and are reworking the college’s masterplan, which will need to be approved by the municipal corporation,” she told Indian Express.
“The campus is not at all women-friendly. There are only very few toilets in the campus. Instead of building cow sheds, they could have at least build toilets,” a student said Maktoob.
Girls are also denied entry to the campus after five in the evening, citing safety.
Meanwhile in a recent webinar conducted by the Philosophy department of the college, Suresh Jain, an RSS affliate is said to have campaigned about cow protection in the campus.
Jain is a member of the Bharat Vikas Parishad (BVP), a group that is affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Sangh Parivar.