Published: 22nd January 2021
With COVID-hit researchers recovered, IIT Madras students says they're being "suffocated" by lockdown rules, food restrictions on campus
According to a circular by the institute, 25 per cent of the hostel residents had tested positive in December
COVID may be at bay and batches of Covaxin and Covishield may be swirling around in Spicejet planes everywhere, but for the students inside IIT Madras, the impact of last month's outbreak has hit them where it hurts the most — in their stomachs! While it may be said that people have had far worse to contend with during the pandemic, students have been complaining non-stop about their food situation since the campus went into lockdown.
Back in December, IIT Madras, one of the premier educational institutes in the country made it to the news after a lot of its resident students and researchers tested positive for the Coronavirus. According to a circular by the institute, 25 per cent of the hostel residents had tested positive, following which the institute was placed under a lockdown, with students quarantining in their hostel rooms.
New Year's day, however, began with the IITians on a positive note. The lockdown was partially lifted and the mess halls were reopened, with strict social distancing norms in place. All seemed well. However, the restrictions that followed, the student sources say were "suffocating" to say the least, for the hostellers.
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"Hostel residents must not leave the campus during their stay," reads the circular. The same applied to the mess workers. At the same time, the hostellers and scholars were asked to not mingle with each other, while on campus. "It has been weeks since we left the campus. This is really difficult for us," says a researcher who did not wish to be named. "We are completely dependent on the IIT mess now for our meals. However, the price of the food has been hiked and many items are now missing from the menu," he adds. The institute is yet to comment on this claim. This copy will be updated when they respond to EdexLive's email.
Since food from delivery apps like Swiggy and Zomato can only be handed over at an outside gate, students crib that the sheer distance it takes to trek from the hostel to the gate and back to get a packet of food is problematic.
At the same time, he adds that social distancing is well maintained in the halls. "Every student has to sit on seats assigned to them. Students are seated two chairs apart," he adds. On the bright side, the researcher says that all the students who were COVID positive are now back to work. "All of them tested negative and are back to their labs. The institute hasn't recorded any positive cases in many days," he adds.