Yet again students bemoan the poor standard of canteens in DU.
When classes are called off, or the shrill yet sweet bell for the coffee break rings through the corridors of our college, we brace ourselves for a bout of chai time masti, more formally referred to as ‘break time’. We make our way, as swiftly as we can, to the nearest Cafes, Canteens and Dhabas – This is where, our dear readers, you are likely to find us during â€˜break-timeâ€™. We reach our destination all pooped out, eager to gorge on good food, talk, laugh and unwind. But have you ever wondered – putting that delicious crispy Samosa or that mouth watering butter-chicken piece in your mouth- that maybe, just maybe, all this appetizing junk that we so avariciously devour is not very hygienic? Well, actually the plain fact is that it is not just terribly unhygienic but also unhealthy. With rumours of bird Flu resurfacing, Delhiâ€™s multi-cuisine atmosphere (which is mostly non veg!) is under grave threat, we can no longer shrug it off – this has a turned into a serious problem.
Some amused students have now begun to refer to their canteen as “the rat-teen” and others wince at the very thought of these unwanted guests.
Students are, on the whole, hungry creatures, and so, are often ready to eat, with some relish, whatever offal you serve them. We have learnt to ignore the evidently filthy conditions in which the food is cooked, we feel nearly relieved to learn the utensils and spoons are actually rinsed with plain water, we pretend not to notice the slobbery lip marks on the rims of our tea cups and we have grown so accustomed to the taste of stale vegetables that we can barely appreciate the taste of fresh vegetables anymore.
We are frankly appalled to report that a number of rather healthy-looking rats have been spotted at many a college canteen, making merry in the kitchens, rolling in flour bags, casually helping themselves to large chunks of our food and generally, having a ball. Some amused students have now begun to refer to their canteen as “the rat-teen” and others wince at the very thought of these unwanted guests. College canteens seem to have discovered a fine alternative to actually being clean. We found that a number of college canteens are so dark and dingy that you are hardly able to notice the filth and grime that surrounds you, slightly more comforting is the thought that you donâ€™t have to see the gunk you eat.
Some students go as far as to suggest that healthy food should be provided. Some canteens like those in Gargi and Kamala Nehru do not seem to believe in a “thali” system that permits one to have a full meal, instead, they serve an assortment of perfectly unhealthy albeit somewhat tasty junk. “Fruits should be provided, so that we donâ€™t have to keep running off to nearby markets to buy them!” requests one concerned student.
Some students would like the college to provide a proper seating arrangement, so that it is possible to actually sit and eat your food in peace. â€œThe canteen should ideally be well ventilated.â€? suggests one asphyxiated student. After all, a good ambience and clean healthy food is that rarest of rare combination that tickles the taste buds of even the most fussy and conservative eaters.
The primary reason why famished students still queue up in these substandard canteens against their better judgments is because they really have no other option.
It is our RIGHT to be served good, healthy, clean food in our college canteens, especially when we pay good money for it. Itâ€™s time to rise in rebellion, dear reader and demand that our rights are met. We must emphasize on cleanliness, proper infrastructure and a healthy, more extensive menu. If these demands are not met, we should not mutely accept these conditions, we must agitate to shut-down any canteen in DU that doesnâ€™t meet the requisite health and hygiene standards. We must insist that our canteens are subject to regular inspection.
It is us, the students, who need to be aware and active. We need to be able to speak up and speak out if we are denied something we deserve. After all, as the old adage goes “Prevention is better than cure”
DO YOU FEEL SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR COLLEGE IS NOT QUITE UP-TO-THE-MARK? IS THERE SOMETHING ABOUT COLLEGE THAT YOU FIND TERRIBLY ANNOYING? DO YOU FEEL YOUR COLLEGE HAS DONE YOU SOME GRAVE INJUSTICE? ARE YOU SO DESPERATELY UNHAPPY WITH COLLEGE LIFE THAT YOU HAVE LOST FAITH IN THE GOODNESS OF MANKIND? OR IF YOU JUST WANT TO HAVE A GOOD OLD FASHIONED WHINEâ€¦.
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Diksha Grovar & Aditi Sharma