Here’s why SPPU students are sceptical over budget impact on hostel improvement
Students have been complaining about the lack of hygiene and poor quality of food at the mess and about the lack of water supply in toilets.pune Updated: Mar 21, 2018 16:03 IST
After months of sporadic agitations by students to improve the condition of hostels in Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), the management presented a budget on March 17, with ₹42 crore allocated to student development, which includes improvement in hostel facilities. However, responding to the budget allocation, students expressed their apprehensions and said that they still need more concrete assurance and not mere monetary promises.
“Despite attempts to make ourselves heard, not much has changed. The protest to improve living conditions in the hostels have been on for more than two months, and every time we are sent back with a bundle of promises which never really concretises into real change. This budget allocation, for now, is just like that, empty promises and nothing else. Until and unless those numbers translate into work, we will not trust them,” said Akash Daunde, a first year MSc student in the department of media and communication studies.
On Monday, several students from different departments came together to protest against the lack of hostel facilities, near the main building of the varsity. Following their protest, they were met with a promise of review and speedy change.
“We were promised that a special committee will be appointed to inspect the hostels and take necessary action. But we are not very hopeful. For instance, despite several complaints, we don’t get hot water in the washrooms. During the last inspection, the authorities had replaced the old geysers with new ones, but they stopped working soon after the inspections were over. Since then, they have been lying inactive and useless,” said Amir Kasim Pathan, second year MTech student.
“We are looking into the matter and are also appointing a review committee to inspect the hostels and do the needful,”said Arvind Shaligram, registrar, SPPU. “We are also going to cancel the tender of the hostel mess and are looking for another provider to replace them,“ he added.
Students have been complaining about the lack of hygiene and poor quality of food at the mess and about the lack of water supply in toilets.
The situation is worse in girls’ hostels. “Sanitary disposal kits had been installed in the girl’s hostel a while ago. Although it was a positive move and was even featured in a few newspapers, the ground level implementation was lacking. The kits are in place, but the workers have not been trained to use them or to dispose of its contents, forcing most of the hostel girls to resort to their previous methods of disposal which is unhygienic and not eco-friendly. Providing tools or facilities is not enough, the awareness to use them is also necessary, and that is where the university is failing miserably,” said Mohini Jadhav, first year MA student, department of women’s studies centre.