The principal of St Stephen's college, Dr MS Frank told that if St Stephen's set up a co-educational hostel, it would have to set up maternity wards as well. His remarks indicated that girls and boys do little except making babies. His statement drew angry reactions from students and teachers within and outside the college.
Why do we need separate hostels for boys and girls in our colleges? Our society is still apprehensive about the idea of putting girls and boys on the same platform when it comes to college hostels in India. Do you think it is impossible? No, it is certainly a workable idea. After all both the genders are equal shareholders in the company called society and therefore it is best if they learn to deal well with each other.
I have had the privilege of visiting some of the prestigious academic institutions in the country like JNU and CIEFL(Hyderabad), which have been running Co-educational hostels successfully for long! There are institutions where boys and girls on training share same floor but live independently. In some hostels girls and boys stay in separate wings, but share same mess, common TV room and study halls. I have observed healthy and cordial relations among the inmates of these hostels.
Need for Co-educational hostels in India
In India, women are still handled with care even at the age of 50. Needless to say, a college girl have to be stored in cool dark dry non-male places, or else the meat.. spoils.
We need to break these shackles and breathe free. We propagate loads of things in our courses, but there still lacks an open mindeness where both sex interaction is concerned. Co-educational hostels will help in developing such attitudes in girls and boys. To girls being in the company of boys need not essentially mean love and courtship anymore, as they can be the best of friends too.
Girls learn to be brave in amongst men as in opposition to the timidity that was attached to her character. The male was a creation which eternally looked at the idea of bullying a woman, if not in person at least at the mental level and these can be curbed if both are put at the same place as girls learn to understand men better and guys learn the art of being gentle with girls and to treat them with respect and equality.
Towards a progressive society
One fails to understand why our society also is still clinging to this 19th century mind-set when it comes to man-woman relationship. We are mentally slaves to the same old fundamental forces who are not even willing to allow the co-education system in our country.
Now a days, the men and women separation is collapsing in all fields and nothing is left which they can't do shoulder to shoulder. So why not a co-education hostel? Things can be worked out and you should allow them a chance to.
I would prefer if hostels were open spaces, where men were free to enter women's hostel and vice verca. Without someone glaring at the other, and without someone having to shout....Be aware, there is a boy in the hostel!
Common guys, give them a chance!