Mumbai : After their victory in getting Prof Neeraj Hatekar’s suspension revoked, students have begun an indefinite strike from Monday.
They will undertake a relay hunger strike in the Kalina campus until their demands for better facilities in the university and raising the standard of academics are met.
“There are 28 demands such as better sports facilities, gym, wi-fi network, 24-hour working reading rooms, provisions for software for disabled students etc. We will not take back our strike until these demands are met,” said Nuzat Khan, who began the hunger strike.
According to Prof Neeraj Hatekar, the funds meant for the university infrastructure, are being completely misused. “We have to sit for even demanding basic amenities like drinking water, benches, hygienic toilets and wastebins. Mumbai University is at the fourth position at national level. If even this University is not having these basic things, then what can we expect of others,” said Dr Hatekar.
According to the students, the food that is being served in the mess is inedible as well as expensive. “ We have written many letters to the Vice Chancellor and the warden regarding the deteriorating standard of canteen meal. They have not taken step in last six months. We have lizards crawling in our refrigerators. Our rooms have not been painted since the time hostel buildings have come into conception. The plasters are coming out. Canteen food has cockroaches in it,” said one of the students.
The students also said that the area surrounding hostel does not even has streetlights. “What about our security then? Where are the funds going? ” asked another student.
A student from the Physical Education Department said that they are unable to participate in the national-level competitions as they fall short of the facilities.
“It’s so shameful for us when we go out for competing with other universities. There are no football, badminton or cricket grounds even when we have such a huge campus. We do not have sports equipment or swimming pools. No gym is there in the university. What is a sportsman supposed to do and how should he perform in such circumstances,” said a Masters student.
The students also complained that no software or reading material for the visually impaired students is available in the university.
“We do not know how they are studying,” said a student.
The students also said even after the availability of vacant rooms in the hostels, the students are not being given rooms there. “Many students are finding it difficult to survive in Mumbai as the city is very expensive and students have to take lodgings outside. We demand hostel for boys and girls with a capacity of 1,000 students. The foundation-stone must be laid within one month as we do not rely on their promises,” said another student.