Adi Dravida student hostels continue to stink

CHENNAI: You will be assaulted by a stinking smell as you enter the the Adi Dravida hostels in the City for college students in Saidapet, Nandanam and Kodambakkam which continue to be the worst maintained.

Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had expressed concern over the sorry state of SC and ST students' hostels in the Collectors Conference on Wednesday in which she said expenditure of crores of rupees had not helped to improve the basic facilities in these hostels. A look at these hostels and a chat with students seem to confirm her charges.

The M C Raja Students Hostel in Saidapet is the most stinking of the three. The smell would haunt you for hours and for the 500 plus students pursuing their higher education from this hostel have become accustomed to living here that they continue to walk along the two floors and lengthy corridors strewn with remains of food items and contaminated water in bare foot.

``We have complained so many times but no action has been taken so far,'' the inmates said. Only when take to the street and block the traffic our problems would be looked into that too only for a few days after which the routine negligence would continue, they lamented.

The staff clean the hostel only once in a week and sometimes it gets delayed further, the students charge. The water crisis in the city has left the toilets unusable.

The students place three main demands. ``We do not read at all here. Funds are allotted for newspapers which never reach the hostel,'' the students say adding a library would be a heaven.

They also want a telephone to be installed that would help them connected to their friends and family for which they are ready to pay and use. But, the most important demand was easy access to medical help. ``This unhygeinic condition leaves at least a couple of student sick and to get admitted in the general hospital the warden has to sign a letter. But, the resident warden never stays in the hostel which makes it difficult, the students charge. At times of rains the need for medical aid multiplies, the students said.

They have a playground now abandoned and used as an open toilet and garbage dumping ground by the people in the neighbouring slums. Efforts were made to clean them by Exnora once but soon that was also dropped, the students said.

The first floor residents of Nandanam Students Hostel live in the fear that the roof might fall on them at any moment. It looks like a weather ravaged construction. Although this hostel with about 350 students is maintained better the lack of facilities is the same. The student are forced to go to Kotturpuram and use the Adyar river bank as toilet.

These students blame the warden for most of their problems. ``The quality of rice is very poor in which we sometimes find worms and insects,'' they claim. They also charge that they were not provided with the quota of non-vegetarian food items.

The newspapers have never reached this hostel also. During rains almost all the rooms in the first floor leak heavily forcing the students to sleep in the ground floor. There are no lights in the corridors and inside the room all electrical work is done by the students themselves. The state of the hostel in Kodambakkam is a little bit better with a telephone connection but nothing more.

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Referred by: Mukundan C.M.
Published on:August 3, 2001
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