Ananya is rushing towards her hostel. She had been wishing to go out to watch a theatre and spend the twilight exploring the beautiful city of Delhi in all the shimmering lights. But she can’t. Her hostel restricts it, the timings do. The curfew timings and regulations force women to get back by the earliest. Ultimately the question arises- Why should the half of the population live only the half day? It’s time for Pinjra Tod (breaking the cage) for all the hoteliers in Delhi, especially women.

With slogans against the patriarchy and biased hostel rules, Delhi girls took to Jantar Mantar, the protest road, to divulge their concerns through the campaign Pinjra Tod. They demand for uniformity; uniformity in rules. The problems they cited were the day-to-day troubles with never bending hostel policies and authoritarian regulations by PG owners. The protest was organized by Centre for Struggling Women (CSW) and students from several universities like Delhi University and Jawahar Lal Nehru University marked their presence. The Jan-Sunwai was also attended by many university professors and alumni to render their support.

The gathering at the Jantar Mantar Road
The gathering at the Jantar Mantar Road

What bother the most girls are the inflexible timings as early as 7.30 in the evening. This is not only too early but also varies from the rules for boys’ hostel which do not have any attendance, timings or even limit on night-outs. The girls need to have a local guardian for a night-out, and that guardian should be married. “If a person arrives late she is not allowed to enter the hostel, to the only place in the city to call a partial home. If safety were the real concern of the hostel wardens and PG owners, they would never let us shoo us at such timings when we can’t find any other place. This is like a patriarchal Khap trying to cage us, and thus, Pinjra Tod,” said a DU student while sharing her testimonial.

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Delhi, being the education hub, attracts students from all facets and states of India. After struggling with the intense cut-offs, they again strife for excellence to get into a Delhi University Hostel, the ones who are able to crack through Delhi Universities. While others have to depend on the ample PG facilities, which are not just poor on quality but nowhere near to the facilities promised coupled by the ill-logical concept of fake safety-concerns.

The pictures have been taken by the blogger.

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