100 girl students flee sc/st hostel

Keonjhar: Over 100 tribal girl students of Pateswar Degree College reportedly left their hostel at Suakati under Bansapal block in Keonjhar district amid reports that the hostel is going to be closed due to various problems.

A written complaint in this regard was submitted to district collector N Tirumala Nayak.
However, the main reasons for these students leaving the hostel were said to be unavailability of Rs 1 rice since November and non-payment of stipend to students for the last one-and-a-half years.
Though the administration is aware of the problems, no step has been taken in this regard, say sources.

The students alleged they were facing problems in availing proper food. The hostel manager had allegedly told them to manage their expenses on their own or leave the hostel.
Nearly 140 students pursuing Plus-II and Plus-III from various tribal-dominated pockets under Keonjhar block used to stay in the hostels.

The social welfare department, it was alleged, had not provided utensils and cooking ware.
Only 30 of them were provided stipend for one-and-a-half years while the others were deprived of this facility. This had posed a problem for them.
The college authorities had however managed the hostel expenses. To add to the problem, the administration had also stopped supplying `1/kg rice to the hostel since September.
ADM Sangram Keshari Swain received a complaint in this regard Tuesday and ordered a probe.

District social welfare officer Nityananda Das visited the college Tuesday and had tried to convince the students.
Many were of the view that if stipend of students is transferred into the college account, the problem can be solved. But the college does not want to take the risk of managing hostels.

Das said stipend is made available to students once in a year. The college is managing the hostel on its own. Students repay the money incurred on their behalf after getting their stipend.

The hostels run under ST/SC department are provided `1-kg rice, he added.
The students were later somehow convinced to return to the hostel. They were told to manage the hostel by paying some money, he added.  PNN

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