HYDERABAD: An alleged incident of students finding a lizard in pickle served to them triggered panic among the inmates at Osmania University’s Women Hostel mess here on Sunday. Some students alleged that the director of the women’s hostel asked them to consume the food since other students had it too.
However, officials from the the hostel administration suspected it to be an act of mischief by some students as none of the the inmates reported sickness from Sunday morning - when the alleged incident was reported.
On Sunday morning at around 10.30 am four students, Ratnamala, Bhavani,Archana and Jyothi, staying in the second block of the women’s hostel, went to the mess for breakfast. It is said that they found a small lizard in the pickle served with Uttapam. They brought it to the notice of caretakers, and took photos of the food with lizard.
About 700 students pursuing post graduate courses are staying in the hostel. Officials from the university said that they enquired with the caretakers and students there, but did not find merit in the complaint.
Director of the OU Women’s Hostel, Dr K Shailaja said that she held enquiries about the incident on Sunday afternoon.”I could have said something about the incident, had I seen the lizard. I cannot tell if the lizard accidentally fell in the pickle or if the students dropped it in the food. No student has complained of vomiting or uneasiness from Sunday morning,” Dr Shailaja said.
She added that breakfast was being served from 8 am to 9.30 am, but the three students went to the mess at around 10.30 am
Syed Shahezadi, ABVP state joint secretary and a masters student from the OU, alleged that Dr Shailaja asked them to consume the food even after the complaint.
“When we took the issue to Dr Shailaja, director of the hostel, instead of assuring to solve the problem, she asked us to eat the food since others had it. We complained about the issue with the Prof E Suresh Kumar, registrar of the university, on Monday,”she said.
Food at OU Hostel Unhygienic, Complain Inmates
The complaint of lizard in food at OU Women’s Hostel mess may be a fabricated story. But, there has been complaints about the quality of food served to the students, which have gone unattended. Hostels recall alarming incidents where they found insects in the food served to them. Though no inmate fell sick after the alleged incident on Sunday, the students are not surprised to hear such complaints. They alleged that such incidents were common and their complaints fell on deaf ears. A women student, Harini, standing outside the gates of the OU Women’s Hostel, said that she once found an insect in food served to her. Syed Shahezadi said that they find insects and threads in food regularly. “Once we found a centipede in the food,” recounted Shahezadi.