More than 80 students of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) staged a sit-in demonstration at the campus outside the office of principal Ujjal Kumar Bhadra, demanding immediate hostel accommodation for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th-year students on the basis of distance and seniority.
At present the students have shifted to the hospital common room with their belongings and have been living there over the past 48 hours. “We have been repeatedly requesting for accommodation since last three years. They have turned a deaf ear to all our pleas,” said a fourth year student who lives in Nadia.
As a result, we have to arrange for private accommodation, he added.
According to the students, Dr Bhadra said that he will do what he wants and the college is his. “You people don’t bother me,” he supposedly told the students.
According to Medical Council of India (MCI) regulations, the college authorities are required to arrange hostel facilities for 75 per cent of its students, whereas the scene is different for CMCH students.
“There are students from Jalpaiguri, Malda, Bankura, Midnapore. CMCH authorities did not arrange for any hostel counselling for the last three years,” said a fifth year student. The usually quiet corridor reverberated with slogans such as “need immediate shift to new hostel”.
At present, the boys are living in an unsafe hostel where the temporary false ceiling keeps falling down during thunderstorms. “In the last two years, the false ceiling fell for about 10 times,” said a student.
The Public Works Department (PWD) has declared the floor unsafe, claimed the protesting students. Meanwhile, a 10-floor ready-to-move hostel has come up in the CMCH premise.
“We thought finally we would be provided a boardership in the new hostel but our principal clearly stated that the new hostel is only for first year students who are joining this year,” said Rajesh Mondal (name changed), a fourth year student.
The students at the same time demanded a professor or head of a department as the new hostel superintendent instead of a political leader.
They alleged that a Trinamul leader brought a few goons from outside to stop the ongoing protest. Dr Partha Pratim Mondal who is in charge of CCU is assigned as the new superintendent of the new hostel.
“As per the rules, a hostel superintendent needs to be a professor, which Mr Mondal is not,” said a student. The students reportedly have seen him meeting with the TMC leader in his chamber on a regular basis. The students are fighting against TMC’s misrule in the college, added the protesters.