Published: 26th March 2019
No clean drinking water, faculty shortage, dysfunctional labs - Here's why the PU Andaman campus students are protesting
The students of the Pondicherry University's Port Blair campus have been protesting since Monday evening. They're also planning to launch a hunger strike soon
The Port Blair campus of the Pondicherry University is around 1,500 km away from the main campus in Puducherry. The 120 students studying there, who started a protest on Monday feel the distance is too long for the waves to carry the echoes of their protest. They know this for a fact, which is why they did not expect an overnight solution for their problems. These problems include the unavailability of clean drinking water and faculty shortage! All they demand is a written assurance by the registrar saying that their issues will be resolved. They have also planned to launch a hunger strike soon.
"A year ago, at least half of the student population was hit by jaundice owing to unclean drinking water. The administration didn't show any concern about this issue. Since then, we've been demanding portable drinking water inside the campus," says Mohammed Ramees, students' council executive member. "That's not just it. In this whole university, there are only two working microscopes. Also, there are just two faculty members in the disaster management department," he adds. The other issues in the campus include a dysfunctional lab, unavailability of books in the library and poor internet connection.Besides this, they have also joined the students of the Puducherry campus, who are protesting against the fee hike.
"We don't want everything to be fixed tomorrow. Let them take a year. But we need a written assurance saying that the issues will be resolved," says Ramees. He says that while the University's Vice-Chancellor Gurmeet Singh was informed about the issue many times previously and he'd promised a quick resolution but no action has been taken.
The university's website says that the Port Blair campus has "sophisticated laboratory facilities equipped with the latest equipment for field investigations in ocean-related sciences." But the students were reportedly disappointed after they had joined the university. "The reality is in stark contrast with what you get to see in the website. The website promises us field trips and scuba diving, but we haven't seen anything of that sort," adds Ramees, who is a PhD researcher in Marine Biology.