Of Cats and Stomach Breaks…

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– Kriti Gupta

The complaint cell section of DU Beat, recently carried a story about the unhygienic conditions at Sri Venkateswara College. This profound piece titled ‘Of rats and stomach aches’ talked about a rat gorging off food in the canteen. After that, he lay down prostrate on the plate, in gastronomic satisfaction. The picture of this magnanimous rat can be seen at www.dubeat.com.

Much to our surprise, the college authorities took notice of this piece of literature. DU Beat members were called to meet with the principal of Venky. Other people present were the Canteen Committee and the formidable Students’ Union of the college.

The principal began the meeting by talking about the habits of a rat. It seemed unlikely to him that a nocturnal creature (such as a rat) could be seen in broad daylight. Even more surprising for him was the rat’s complete ignorance of human beings around it. He wondered if it was a pet rat.

Then he went on to explain that cats who used to drive the rats away had been scared by the arrival of a new dog. This was the cause of the rise in population of the rats. He also mentioned that he was glad to hear the criticism (because it was more constructive than badgering) though he did not appreciate the means through which he found out.

We sat there listening, glad to have understood the animal politics operating at the canteen level. At the end of this conversation we asked, “Sir what is to be done about this issue?”. The principal, along with the highly distinguished members of the Canteen Committee, came up with several remarkable solutions. When put in practice, the Venky students’ stomachs will get a well-deserved break. The solutions offered are listed below:

* The rat came from the sports room. Now, the door of the sports room is always locked. This ensures that the rat cannot come out anymore.
* The lids in which cooked food is kept will now be covered.
* Rat poison will be applied at strategic places to get rid of the creature.
* Suggestion box in the canteen which students can utilise to address concerns
* Any idea for cleanliness can be pitched to the principal through a proposal.
* A cleanliness proforma where regular check-ups and updates are recorded.
* Gloves to be worn by the cooks.
* Dustbins in each classroom

We sincerely hope that no further complaints come to us about the Venky canteen. However, if you, as a student, spot something unhygienic…we would be glad to address it; thereby ensuring that cleanliness standards are maintained.

It is a sad state of affairs that is prevalent in most DU colleges. This week again, Complaint Cell addresses issues of dirty canteens in other colleges. It seems to be the foremost concern of students. And why not? Maybe we should make it a cause to strive for…hear hear!

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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