Students pay with their lives for neglect of hostels – The New Indian Express

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Express press service

HYDERABAD: The untimely deaths of half a dozen students from state-run hostels and a series of food poisoning incidents that have affected hundreds more in recent times have undermined the very purpose of the government to provide better educational facilities to poor and marginalized sections while highlighting the alarming situation.

State-run hostels struggle with a host of problems ranging from sanitation, unhygienic food and water to endemic seasonal and vector-borne diseases. The situation of hostels run in private buildings is worse because there are not enough classrooms, dormitories, canteens and toilets. It is no exaggeration to say that in some of these hostels run in private buildings, the classrooms and dormitories are the same. In Khammam, 27 hostels out of 30 are managed in private buildings.

Sources say ANMs or nursing staff at homes are being deprived of life-saving drugs. “In most cases, all they have is paracetamol,” lamented one student. Of the six students, four died of poor health in the space of just one month (August) in hostels in the old district of Adilabad alone.

Besides these six students, a 10-year-old student from a British Columbia welfare home in Birkur, in the former district of Nizamabad, died on Saturday, allegedly from a snakebite. It was the second such incident this year, with the first claiming the life of a 13-year-old eighth standard student at another BC residential hostel in Bogaram, on the outskirts of Hyderabad. , last March.

Last week, a 13-year-old student of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) died, allegedly of food poisoning, in Kagaznagar of Komaram Bheem-Asifabad district. Incidentally, the KGBV inns are facing an acute financial crisis, caught in the standoff between the state and union governments. The state government accuses the Center of not releasing cash grants for almost six months now.

At a medical camp held Saturday at the SC Integrated Welfare Hostel for boys in the town of Karimnagar, no less than 27 of the 45 students screened suffered from fever, headache, nausea or flu. “Two of these boys were transferred to government hospitals as they needed hospitalization,” said doctor Dr Ayesha Begum.

When Express visited a few hostels, it was clear that the wellness hostels lacked basic amenities such as access to drinking water and food. The students report that they have been served rice riddled with insects. It has been observed that there are no quality controls on food supplies. Inns accept supplies provided by mess contractors without objection or checks which are served to students regardless of the increasing number of food poisoning cases.

“The mess contractor supplies the inn with damaged and insect-infested vegetables every day. Rainwater enters the upper tank and mixes with drinking water,” said a cook from Telangana Boarding School and Social Welfare College in Ghanpur. Private food entrepreneurs are trying to justify their actions by saying that the government has not revised prices in line with inflation, forcing them to supply substandard items.

Asked about the probable cause of food poisoning, the principal of a boarding school in Karimnagar district said that sometimes utensils are not washed with detergent. There is no oversight of cleaning staff, he said.

(With contributions from Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Khammam, Medak and Warangal)

HYDERABAD: The untimely deaths of half a dozen students from state-run hostels and a series of food poisoning incidents that have affected hundreds more in recent times have undermined the very purpose of the government to provide better educational facilities to poor and marginalized sections while highlighting the alarming situation. State-run hostels struggle with a host of problems ranging from sanitation, unhygienic food and water to endemic seasonal and vector-borne diseases. The situation of hostels run in private buildings is worse because there are not enough classrooms, dormitories, canteens and toilets. It is no exaggeration to say that in some of these hostels run in private buildings, the classrooms and dormitories are the same. In Khammam, 27 hostels out of 30 are managed in private buildings. Sources say ANMs or nursing staff at homes are being deprived of life-saving drugs. “In most cases, all they have is paracetamol,” lamented one student. Of the six students, four died of poor health in the space of just one month (August) in hostels in the old district of Adilabad alone. Besides these six students, a 10-year-old student from a British Columbia welfare home in Birkur, in the former district of Nizamabad, died on Saturday, allegedly from a snakebite. It was the second such incident this year, with the first claiming the life of a 13-year-old eighth standard student at another BC residential hostel in Bogaram, on the outskirts of Hyderabad. , last March. Last week, a 13-year-old student of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) died, allegedly of food poisoning, in Kagaznagar of Komaram Bheem-Asifabad district. Incidentally, the KGBV inns are facing an acute financial crisis, caught in the standoff between the state and union governments. The state government accuses the Center of not releasing cash grants for almost six months now. At a medical camp held Saturday at the SC Integrated Welfare Hostel for boys in the town of Karimnagar, no less than 27 of the 45 students screened suffered from fever, headache, nausea or flu. “Two of these boys were transferred to government hospitals as they needed hospitalization,” said doctor Dr Ayesha Begum. When Express visited a few hostels, it was clear that the wellness hostels lacked basic amenities such as access to drinking water and food. The students report that they have been served rice riddled with insects. It has been observed that there are no quality controls on food supplies. Inns accept supplies provided by mess contractors without objection or checks which are served to students regardless of the increasing number of food poisoning cases. “The mess contractor supplies the inn with damaged and insect-infested vegetables every day. Rainwater enters the upper tank and mixes with drinking water,” said a cook from Telangana Boarding School and Social Welfare College in Ghanpur. Private food entrepreneurs are trying to justify their actions by saying that the government has not revised prices in line with inflation, forcing them to supply substandard items. Asked about the probable cause of food poisoning, the principal of a boarding school in Karimnagar district said that sometimes utensils are not washed with detergent. There is no oversight of cleaning staff, he said. (With contributions from Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Khammam, Medak and Warangal)

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