Srinagar, Nov 8: Lack of basic infrastructure forced the students of Institute of Asian Medical Science (IAMS), Zakura here to go on indefinite strike from Tuesday.
The students are protesting against the lack of standard laboratories and library, expert teaching staff, functional hospital, transport facility and other infrastructure in the institution.
Alleging that the institution has become a business hub for the authorities, a group of students said the administration was hardly concerned about upgrading the infrastructure. "With more than 250 students on roll, the annual income of the institution is in millions but we fail to understand where the money goes," said a student who only identified himself as Asif.
"There are only four classrooms for five batches and it is irony these have been bifurcated wherein theoretical and practical work goes on simultaneously," said another student. He said that for the lack of space lobby of a building was recently converted into a classroom.
Visibly perturbed, the students added: "In spite of our frequent request to the authorities, the hospital of the institution is yet to become functional and hence no clinical classes are conducted. We fear that our future would be dark as we don't have any practical knowledge of dealing with patients."
There was no doctor present in the outpatients department and the patient wards were locked. A sick CRPF personnel from Zakura camp brought by his companions for treatment had to return unattended as no doctor was available.
The students alleged the IAMS authorities recently enacted a drama to mint more money and dupe gullible people in the process. "The authorities hired non-resident labourers for an advertisement campaign on a local channel television channel," the students said.
Mocking at the laboratory facilities at the IAMS, they said: "The equipment in the laboratory is either non-functional or damaged and the herbs meant for practical purposes are not available."
The students cursed themselves for having joined the IAMS, saying it was their biggest mistake.
They said, "As per the norms of Indian System of Medicine, the head of the institution should be Doctor of Medicine (MD) with 10 years of experience, but our principal is only BIMS. What would we expect in these circumstances?"
The students threatened that if their demands were not fulfilled they would come out on streets to press for the same. They also sought the intervention of Health Minister, Mangat Ram Sharma into the matter.
The IAMS principal, Dr Khursheed Baksh said all demands of the students would be fulfilled. "We will not let our students down," he told Greater Kashmir.