Nursing and law students of HP State Co-operative Advancement of Professional Education Society, HIMCAPES Institute of Professional Education, situated in Badheda village of Haroli block have decided to sit on a hunger strike in protest against the poor quality of food being served to inmates of the women's hostel. More than 150 students on Monday raised slogans and launched protest in front of the office of the institute chairman.
HIMCAPES is the only educational institute of the state, which is functional in the cooperative mode and receives the patronage of the state government through the department of cooperatives.
While the Bachelor in Law, affiliated to Himachal Pradesh University was started in 2006, the bachelor course in nursing was introduced during the current session.
The girl students, who reside in the college hostel, have reportedly been complaining against the poor quality of food being served them. Monika from Bilaspur and Krishan Lata from Sirmaur said insects, including cockroaches, have been spotted in the food, while the quality of pulses, vegetables and milk was also sub-standard.
Deepika and Nitika from Kangra said, “Repeated complaints to the institution authorities have fallen on deaf ears.”
Kavita Devi from Hamirpur said the girls have demanded an immediate replacement of the mess contractor, failing which they would be forced seek refund of their boarding and lodging deposits.
HIMCAPES chairman Jagdev Singh admitted that complaints about the bad quality of food in the girls' hostel had been received earlier too. He said the decision to change the mess contractor could only be taken at the board meeting of society.
However, he said an emergency meeting of the board members who reside nearby has been convened to sort out the issue.
Adding to the woes of the institution authorities, three of the protesting students suddenly fell ill. They were shifted to the hostel for recuperation.