80-year-old Hindu College Hostel Building Is Demolished For A Remake, Alumni Recall Fond Memories

80-year-old Hindu College Hostel Building Is Demolished For A Remake, Alumni Recall Fond Memories

More than mere brick and mortar to many, the Hindu College’s boys hostel which is under demolition for a remake, has sent several alumni waxing nostalgic about the famed building which once nestled them.

PTIUpdated: Saturday, October 14, 2023, 05:36 PM IST
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Hindu College

New Delhi: More than mere brick and mortar to many, the Hindu College’s boys hostel which is under demolition for a remake, has sent several alumni waxing nostalgic about the famed building which once nestled them.

The hostel building, which housed thousands of students over its eight-decade run, is too infirm to carry on in its present state and the college plans to “reconstruct” it, says Principal Anju Srivastava.

“The new building will be a four storeyed structure with a stilt and will be ready by 2026. This will lead to doubling of its capacity to accommodate the growing intake of students in the college,” Srivastava told PTI.

Talking about the history of the structure, she said the current building is about 80 years old and the administration has spent a lot of money in different phases to make it sustainable.

“We also got engineers to test the foundation of the hostel to check if it can take additional two floors but the base isn’t that strong. There’s a huge amount of pressure on the hostel. Therefore, the governing body decided to direct the rebuilding of the hostel,” she said.

The new structure, being built at a cost of Rs 50 crore, will house more than 500 students and is likely to be ready in two to three years, she added.

Sources said that the old building has been closed since the Covid-19 pandemic. After the news of “demolition” of the hostel building circulated among the alumni, Hindi film director Imtiaz Ali shared a post on Facebook recalling his days at the boys hostel.

“I got to know that the hostel is being demolished and rebuilt during a NAAC meeting at my alma mater on Monday. It felt like a friend had died. I felt sad and nostalgic as I spent my youth in the boys’ hostel. But the old order has to change to give path to the new. I am not going to stand in the way,” Ali, an alumnus of the Delhi University college, told PTI.

However, he stressed, the college must keep in mind that a certain aesthetic, reminiscent of the past, is maintained in the new hostel.

“The construction and architecture of the college in general has not followed the best planning in terms of visual aesthetics. It’s a very important thing to keep that aesthetic in mind when they reconstruct anything in the college,” he said.

There are some alumni who plan to take parts of debris from the hostel and keep them as mementos.

“Our soul still stays there. Talks are on with the other alumni and very soon we will give a proposal regarding this to the principal,” Film director Nalin Singh told PTI.

Hindu College’s former principal Kavita Sharma said that one could choose to look at this as a need to grow with time or move forward while preserving the memory of the old.

“When I was the principal, people used to come back with their families to show them their hostel. With the new construction, this will stop happening.

“The current alumni will not be able to identify the building even though new students will make new memories. There is a need to preserve some part of the history. A balance should be maintained between the old and the new,” she said.

The Hindu college’s boys hostel was built in 1953 on Sudhir Bose Marg on North Campus. Several distinguished personalities including government officials, political bigwigs, artists, and famous actors have passed from the college.

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