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Thursday, December 23, 2010

1,000 students crammed into 52 rooms

CHENNAI: Several students of the MC Raja Adi Dravidar Hostel at Todhunter Nagar in Saidapet, some of whom held up traffic on a part of the arterial Anna Salai for nearly five hours on Tuesday, say frustration led to the protest.

Talking to TOI at the hostel on Wednesday, some of them said: "We tried to speak to every official, including the collector, about the state of affairs here but nothing was done. We tried protesting earlier on the road but were chased away. This time we just could not bear it anymore."

"At least now, let us see if the authorities will listen to us," some said.

The hostel, which has ground plus two floors, has 52 rooms to accommodate 400 students but over a thousand are crammed in them.

Some of the residents who did not wish to be identified said two groups of students, numbering 22 and hailing from Tindivanam and Villupuram, were creating trouble there. "The student leader of the hostel and a few vested interests, including functionaries of a particular party, are making life miserable by coming in here and drinking and creating problems,'' they said.

They said though the government had allocated funds for food the quality of the fare and the quantity served was so bad that some thought the Puzhal jail served better food.

This reporter was shown the food served. "We manage with the rice and buy curry from roadside shops since the one served here is not fit for consumption,'' one student said.

The toilets were stinking and so were the rooms that contained only the bare necessities. "There is no entertainment for us excepting our mobile phones on which we listen to music. The state government has given away thousands of TV sets to many people. Can it not give us a couple of them?'' wondered another.

The students, all from poor backgrounds and hailing from all parts of the state, said "our parents are farm workers and involved in other menial jobs. It was their dream that we become graduates and do well in life. But when you are treated like this you don't become a graduate. You will end up as a criminal."

Read more: 1,000 students crammed into 52 rooms - The Times of India


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