Sept. 18, 2015: Unhappy with the quality of the canteen food and a hike in canteen food prices, an impromptu protest by a few students turned into a major protest by hundreds of students at Jamia Millia Islamia, Friday.
Protesting students alleged, on condition of anonymity, that the quality of the food has been awful for years now, which students have been complaining about regularly, but nothing has been done about it by the administration.
In addition they said, recently they were told that a new tender for the canteens will be floated and it is likely the private contractor for the canteen will be replaced by someone else.However, they said, a new tender was floated but the contract was awarded to the same contractor; and on top of that, food prices have now been hiked as well. A food item such as Biryani, which used to cost Rs. 25 earlier, is now priced Rs. 35, with no change in the quality of the food. In fact, they allege, it has gotten worse.
Infuriated by all of this, a few students today started to protest on-campus. They were slowly joined by hundreds of students demanding the administration to hear their grievance.Chief proctor and officiating vice-chancellor, arrived at the scene and promised the protesting students in writing that the matter will be discussed with Vice-Chancellor Prof. Talat Ahmad on his return to the university on Monday. However, until then, the university canteen shall remain closed.Jamia Students Forum (JSF), a loose collective of activist Jamia students, have decided to take on this issue and plan to protest again on Monday, according to a post on their facebook page.This university students protest over food follows a recent protest by hostel residents of JMI-run secondary school for being fed unhealthy and unhygienic food at the hostel mess. A PIL was filed by the Indian Council of Legal Aid and Advice on their behalf in the Delhi High Court, as reported by The Hindu on Sept. 15.