VIJAYAWADA: Three more students of the Government Women’s Social Welfare Residential College who suffered food poisoning on Wednesday were hospitalised. With this, the total number of students who suffered food poisoning reached 33. While 25 of them were discharged, three were still in ICU as their condition was little serious. Following the food poisoning incident, medical teams visited the college and conducted check-up on students. The social welfare department cancelled the food supply contract with a catering firm and roped in Akshaya Patra to provide meals to the students.
The six-room college where about 110 students from economically backward sections study is anything but a happy place. While three rooms are used for classes, the other three provide accommodation to the students. The state of affairs is so bad that the students use the corridor to take their daily meals and to study.In fact, the college management in July 2017 had written to the Commissioner of Collegiate Education and District Collector urging them to appoint an ANM and a medical officer to provide medical aid to the students. But till now there is no response from them.
On the academic front, too, the college is in no better position. As against 11 sanctioned posts for lecturers, the college has only seven. Similarly, it has only three non-teaching staffers as against five. There is neither an attender nor a warden in the college hostel. Consequently, the students fend for themselves for every thing. Speaking to Express, A Shanti, a second-year student of B Com (Hons) said, “The lunch boxes are placed outside the college by the catering firm. We have to carry them inside and serve ourselves. The main problem is the size of the rooms. They are very congested and the ventilation is poor. Sleeping on bunker beds in the congested rooms is not at all a comfortable experience. We feel very suffocated due to lack of enough oxygen supply in the rooms.”
M Subramanyam, principal of the college, said, “Food poisoning is an unfortunate incident. The girls are recovering and we arranged health check-ups. The place is very congested. We have written numerous times to the government urging it to construct a new building for the college. But due to a land dispute, the shifting process is not taking place.”Referring to the change of caterer, the principal said Akshaya Patra does not provide eggs or chicken to the students though it charges Rs 120 per each plate.