OU students demand hygienic food, water

One of the major issues they face is lack of manpower in the mess

HYDERABAD: A group of students from Osmania University on Monday staged a protest on the campus for the second consecutive day demanding quality food and drinking water apart from accommodation, which they have allegedly been deprived of post lockdown.

They warned the university management that they would continue the protests until their grievances were resolved. However, after the intervention of the registrar, the students called off the protest.

The protest began at 7 am, when some students locked the main gate and blocked the road on the campus. The number of protestors swelled to about 150 by the afternoon. OU Registrar Prof P. Laxminarayana then met the students, inspected the hostel and assured that their concerns would be addressed. After this, the protesters dispersed.

According to a student of Block 3 of the hostel, one of the major issues they face is lack of manpower in the mess. The mess for Block 3 caters to 700-800 students and the breakfast is served between 7.30 am and 9 am. “Every morning, there is a very long queue and we have to wait for up to one-and-a-half hours to get two chapatis, as there is a shortage of food,” the student claimed.

Many inmates of the hostel have to attend classes at 9 am at University College of Science, Saifabad and Koti Women’s College, for which buses pick them up from the hostel at 8.30 am. These students do not have the time to wait for breakfast.

Students have been allegedly suffering from water issues for several weeks. Earlier this month, members of the State Human Rights Commission visited the campus to inquire about the same.

A student from Block 3 said two washrooms were available for about 60 students in each wing of the hostel. “We need to stand in a queue for an hour to use washrooms, and then another one hour for food. We are wasting a lot of time here, there is not enough time to study,” the student said.

Prof. Laxminarayana said to address the issues in the mess, he had asked the workers to prepare food in advance and pack them for students going to colleges in Koti or Saifabad, He said the shortage of washrooms was due to repair works.

To address the shortage of drinking water, another tank would be installed, after which the students would get 24-hour supply of water.

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