IN A BID to improve the condition of hostels run by the social justice department, the officials will visit all 441 hostels run by the department and stay there overnight along with the students.
“Many a times we hear serious complaints about the condition of the hostels under social justice department. While we are working tirelessly to improve the condition of hostels at the administrative level, we thought it was important to take a few innovative measures,” said Dr Prashant Narnavare, Commissioner, Social Welfare.
Narnavare said the initiative, ‘Samvad’ will have officers from the department visiting all 441 hostels and holding meetings with students. While women officials will visit girls’ hostel, male officials will visit boys’ hostel. They will stay at the hostel overnight, eat the dinner served to students, sleep in hostel rooms and use facilities that are being offered to students.
More than 40,000 students undergoing undergraduate education reside in these hostels in the state. Any student from Scheduled Caste, VJNT, EBC category with a family’s annual income less than Rs 2.5 lakh can apply for the hostel. The hostels at divisional level provide Rs 800 per month pocket money while Rs 600 per month is given for students in smaller towns. These hostels provide three meals a day to each student in addition to money for books and stationery.
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The first visit was held on July 27 and 28 and it will continue throughout the year. “Many a times we do not get direct feedback from students about the facilities that are offered by the government. A one-on-one meeting with officials, without the presence of hostel warden, will give confidence to students to voice their problems,” the officer said.