Pondicherry Central University rises in protest

Source: Times of India

A collective 'raid' by students of Pondicherry Central University found rotten veggies and rice in the college mess, sparking a major protest inside the campus since Sunday afternoon. The students' act was during the Sunday lunch time inside the kitchen of boy's canteen, where they reportedly found rotten vegetables and several kilograms of rice and adulterated food items. Students who took out all the food items from the kitchen marched to the university main gate next to the East Coast Road. The protest is still going on, blocking the entry of vehicles into the campus.

According to a post graduate student, the raid was conducted on Sunday after they found that the food which served during lunch time was bad in taste. "We immediately decided to enter the kitchen, where we found rotten items and cigarette buds in the dishes. It was extremely unhygienic and in bad quality. We decided to take out the entire items and marched to the Gate No. 2, where we sat till Monday morning, preparing dinner there itself," he said.

Not less than 1,000 students are involved in the protest as they have been complaining to the management of unhygienic food for several months. Students said they were being ill-treated by the chief warden of the hostels and the university vice chancellor even after they have reported about unhygienic food. Nearly 500 students who camped at the main gate of the university stayed there whole night protesting and they organised a students march inside the campus on Monday morning.

"We do not want to discuss this issue with anyone other than the vice chancellor. We gheraoed the university registrar on Sunday evening after he made an attempt to threaten some of the students for leading the protest. Last time, when we were invited for a meeting to resolve a similar issue, we were served show cause notices for questioning the authority instead of discussing the issue. We demand for a public meeting of students in the presence of vice chancellor," said one of the students, who wants to maintain anonymity as the management is likely to take action against a few students who leads the protest. A senior faculty in the communication department said if the students have the rights to rate their faculties, they can rate their food also.

The canteen which was allegedly served rotten food items feed not less than 1,000 students lives in the boys hostels. When contacted, the vice chancellor or the registrar of the university were not available for comment.