A University of Cafeterias!

KU students say they cannot afford what expensive cafeterias in the campus have to offer

CAMPUS ROUNDUP

IMRAN MUZAFFAR

Outside a flashy cafeteria in the University of Kashmir, Ishtiyak Malik, 22, a postgraduate student, realized that he didn’t have enough money in his pocket to eat out at the cafeteria. The students say the cafeterias in Kashmir University are like “mansions” with interiors far better than classrooms, laboratories and studios and, as per some students, these cafeterias are even better than Vice Chancellor’s Office.
Many students of the varsity are facing difficulty in the absence of a proper hygienic food available at subsidized rates in the university cafeterias. Students say the cafeterias are not student-centric. In the absence of affordable cafeterias inside the campus the students say they have no other option than to take whatever the cafeterias were offering at high prices that most of the students cannot afford.
“As students we cannot afford chicken kanti and all that stuff daily. Although there are different varieties being offered but not a single one is affordable for us as for as their quality and price is concerned,” Ishtiyak said.
A group of students said in other universities outside the state rice and vegetable is offered at affordable prices and the cafeterias attract all kinds of student because they are student friendly. “In JNU, Delhi, the cafeterias have a system of plate. The plate comprises of rice and vegetable. It costs just Rs 30-35 and all the students can afford it,” they said. “If such a system can be established in Kashmir University, it would be a great service to the student community here.”
Students from hinterlands of Kashmir say they rarely visit the cafeterias of the university as there’s hardly anything available for them which they can afford. “We can only afford a cup of tea. That is it. And that too is of low quality,” says another student. The students say they had appealed to the university administration many times for making the cafeterias student-friendly in terms of availability of hygienic food at subsidized rates. “But nothing has been done so far about this matter,” the students said.  “Both the University administration and proprietors of the cafeterias should take the student community into consideration while formulating the menu and the rates,” the students added.
An Assistant Professor at the Department of Botany says the cafeterias are not even affordable for the university faculty members. “There is a wrong notion that a lecturer who earns Rs 25-30,000 per month can afford all that the cafeterias were offering. Even we cannot afford the stuff we are offered on a daily basis in these cafeterias,” he says. “The students are correct when they say that a system like JNU—where a plate costs Rs 30-35—must be established in the University. That stuff is hygienic as well and everybody can afford it.”
A cafeteria proprietor says that they had introduced the plate system earlier but it could not last long. “It was our decision in the beginning to introduce plate system. It is good system. A student gets rice and vegetable at an affordable price. But it could not succeed as nobody turned up to demand it,” says Mushtaq Ahmad, the owner of the Humanities Block Cafeteria.
Registrar Kashmir University Prof. Zafar Ahmad Reshi says the University was already “thinking” of making cafeterias affordable for students. “It is on our agenda to make canteens student-friendly. We also think that an affordable system should be put in place,” he says, adding, “We will have a meet with canteen owners soon and the issue would be addressed.”
Prof Zafar says canteens should offer eatables according to the Varsity’s procedure. “We will make sure that it is affordable to the students even for their lunch. And if someone wants to party they can go to a hotel outside the campus,” says the newly-appointed Registrar.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 2 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 2 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 3 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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