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Poor food, cramped rooms

Manvi has not changed her workplace even once in the past two years but has tried six hostels in Patna so far.

“I have been compelled to change hostels so frequently because of poor food quality, unhygienic condition and lack of security. In the past two years, I had to be admitted to hospital thrice,” said the woman in her 20s who had come to Patna from Darbhanga in search of employment.

Manvi, employed with a private mobile service provider, is at present staying in Rinku Girls’ Hostel in the Nageshwar Colony area but is unhappy with the facilities, particularly security arrangement. “According to the norms, hostels are supposed to get registered with the employment exchange department and have security guards. But the owner of the hostel is not bothered about our security,” she complained.

The owner of the hostel, Ravindra, admitted to The Telegraph that the facility was not a registered one. “But we have taken prior permission from the landlord to set up the hostel,” he said.

Ravindra’s argument is not enough, as the no-objection form of the registration certificate makes it clear that it is mandatory for a girls’ hostel to have a security guard. “There is no need of any security guard at our hostel because we take care of our boarders,” he said.

The owner of Rinku Girls’ Hostel charges a boarder Rs 2,800 monthly for an accommodation in a four-bed room. The amount includes charges for food. Rents for two-bed and single-bed rooms are higher.

Swati, a boarder at Daisy Girls’ Hostel in the East Boring Canal Road area, said the quality of food provided to them was poor. “The ingredients used to cook in our hostel are of poor quality. But we have no option,” said the employee of a mobile recharge company.

Komal, who works with a multi-national company and stays at the same hostel, said: “The vegetables are not fresh and often cause food poisoning. In the last three months, four boarders had to be hospitalised with stomach infections. When our parents complain, the wardens argue that we suffer because of having junk food.”

Owners of the Daisy Girls’ Hostel could not be contacted.

A boarder of another hostel in the Boring Road area complained of cramped rooms. “The owners have converted a big hall into small rooms by creating partitions with plywood. The rooms do not have windows and the boarders are not even allowed to use the balcony,” she said on condition of anonymity.

Devdutta Casey, the owner of Sheelaz Mary Girls’ Hostel near Income Tax roundabout, said: “I had to pay Rs 750 to get the hostel registered and the entire process took a month. We have a security guard and ensure hygienic food for our boarders.”