Thursday, November 23, 2017
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I was deeply pained to see that a Hostel Superintendent of Allahabad University tendered his resignation because he could not bear the insulting behaviour of  unauthorized occupants who were being evicted from the hostel. I have every sympathy for the Hostel Superintendent.

But at the same time I would like to ask him: Why did he allow the unauthorised occupants to stay on? Why weren’t they thrown out immediately when they landed inside the hostels.
The fault initially lies with the hostel superintendents. They do not seem to be taking interest in properly  running the hostels.  Some of them I am told do not stay in adjoining bungalows but have shifted to new surroundings because they did not wish to be anywhere near the hostels so as to escape becoming a victim of the students’ wrath.
The situation can improve only of Hostel superintendents stay on the premises and take a round every night to ensure that all is well. I recall what late Mr BBL Saxena, one-time Hostel Superintendent of Sir Sunderlal Hostel, told me. He said every night he would come out of his bunglow with his torch that had a big focus so that its light could be visible from a distance. He said that the students would see the torch light and rush into their rooms. All would be well because he was tough in imposing discipline. When  the Hostel Superintendent would daily visit the students, he will also develop a rapport with them. And no outsider would dare to enter the premises or occupy the rooms to stay there unauthorised .
What is needed urgently is proper counselling of  Hostel Superintendents. They have to be an integral part of the hostel. They cannot take care of so many hostellers by going there once in a while like a guest artiste! It is only when they stay  close by, mingle with the students, sometimes join them in their mess , that they will be treated by students as their real well wishers. The superintendent too will develop soft corner for toiling boys. In the past if some senior teachers financially helped students, it is only because they knew them well. One doesn’t respect a stranger and neither does a stranger help a youngster whom he seldom meets.

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