22 students in a spot after college asks them to vacate hostel; unable to afford flight tickets, hotels unwilling to accommodate them; Lohit DC comes to rescue
Tinsukia: The timely intervention of deputy commissioner of Lohit in Arunachal Pradesh helped 22 female students, studying in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, put up at the hostel of the college.
Avinashilingam Home Science College for Women had earlier asked the students to vacate the hostel following government orders to shut down schools, colleges and universities as a precautionary measure to contain the spreading of COVID-19.
Talking to EastMojo, Lohit deputy commissioner Prince Dhawan said that a guardian of one of the students hailing from Wakhro in Lohit district contacted him and conveyed their saga. "I communicated it to my counterpart in Coimbatore asking him to interfere and they didn't have any accommodation there and couldn't get tickets and hotels were refusing to provide them accommodation,” he said.
"I got a confirmation next day that the commissioner spoke to college authorities and ensured they are allowed to stay in the hostel and proper food is provided to them," added Dhawan.
Talking to EastMojo, Anjangmai Mam, a BSc third-year student, said that on March 16 a notice was put out informing that all classes have been suspended from March 16 till 31 according to the order of state government. "Hostel inmates were asked to speak to their parents and vacate the hostel and go home. Several of our hostel mates started leaving the hostel by late evening," she said.
We spoke to our parents back in Arunachal Pradesh and informed them about the development, Mam said. "We got worried and rushed to our warden to ask what will happen to us. The warden permitted us to stay overnight in the hostel as we did not had any alternate arrangements and told us that she will speak to the higher authorities next day to decide our fate," she added.
On March 17, a meeting was held in the college auditorium where the vice-chancellor, registrar and principal were present along with some other officials. "In the meeting, the authorities allowed us to put ourselves in the hostel and conveyed us that food arrangements will be in place and we need not worry for anything," Mam said, adding, "They advised us not to move out and maintain social distancing and follow all preventive measures."
"Few moments later, I received a call, the caller introduced himself as collector of Coimbatore. The call was to confirm that our problem is resolved and we are not facing any problem," Mam added.
Talking to EastMojo, hostel deputy warden K Devi said that once the government direction came, they informed the students about suspension of classes, co-curricular and extra curricular activities and suggested nearby students to go to their homes. "We did not force any student to vacate the hostel and insisted that those staying far away may stay back," she said.
"However, few students came to me with a doubt whether mess will be open or not as normally in long holidays mess gets closed," said the warden, adding, "We assured them that food and other necessary items will be made available to them."
On March 17, we got an email requesting us to take care of students from Arunachal Pradesh. "In the mail, it was mentioned that the flights tickets at every costly and train journey can be dangerous. Hence, no students should be forced to vacate hostel and all arrangements should be made for them to ensure that they do not suffer," Devi said.
Devi said that based on the mail, the students were asked to assemble at the auditorium and a meeting was convened between the senior officials of the college and university and the students. "In the meeting, it was reiterated that those who wish to stay back may do so without any worries. The college will make all necessary arrangements for their accommodations and fooding," said Devi.