OU hostellers up in arms over sub-standard food

The inmates have a long list of complaints including non-cleaning of washrooms for long durations

HYDERABAD: More skeletons seem to be tumbling out of Osmania University’s closet after a recent food poisoning incident that rocked the campus, following which students protested against the worst services offered in the hostels by varsity management.

Tension prevailed at Osmania University after the food poisoning incident on the campus from Thursday night. Students of Centenary Girls Hostel on the varsity’s main campus staged a protest on Thursday night after many hostel inmates allegedly fell ill after consuming food from the hostel mess. Ambulances were summoned to the hostel about four to five times on the day. This triggered the protest by angry students, who were already fed up with several other issues.

About 100 students, both from the Centenary Hostel as well as those from other hostels, protested on the street around 8.30 pm. The varsity’s vice-chancellor Prof Ravinder and the warden of the hostel then met the students, who explained to them the many issues they faced in the hostel, and assured to resolve them, after which the students dispersed around midnight.

The inmates have a long list of complaints regarding facilities in the hostel. They allege that washrooms are not cleaned for long durations and dustbins are not cleared, leading to unbearable stench. Even one-and-a-half months after offline classes began and most students returned to hostels, they still do not have any network or WiFi facility in the hostel. To make any call, they have to step out of the hostel. When this was brought to the Vice Chancellor’s notice, he promised to hold a meeting soon to address it.

Though the management started bus facilities for students to reach colleges, considering the hot weather, students of this hostel have been provided only two buses, which can accommodate only 150 students, and the timings are erratic.

“Most of us are still walking to colleges,” says a student.

“The students don’t even have enough space to sleep, as four students are crammed into a room that only has three cots and they have asked us to adjust with three cots, but how is it possible?” asks the student. Strangely, sensor based lights — a needless luxury — have been installed in the rooms and are in fact troubling the students, as they suddenly switch on or off. Even water is not coming from about 40 taps in the hostel, they allege.

Earlier, on March 27 and 28, students of a different block of girls’ hostel protested on the streets over several basic issues, after students allegedly found a worm in food served in the mess.

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