The Great Food Debacle

- Aditya Gayatri Sastry Kaipa , Journal Club

2018-02-25

Cultural

A wise man once said, “Food is a necessity for the body, not the soul”. The soul doesn’t require materialistic things to attain enlightenment. But we BITSians are so close to salvation that food itself is now looking for salvation. It is believed that people close to salvation lose all their connections to the material world and can see through the delusions of the world. Are we that enlightened that we are becoming so ignorant about the issues surrounding us?

Doesn’t make sense, does it? (It does? Congrats, you have been enlightened.) Now, let’s get back to the elephant in the room. So, what exactly is the point being made here? I would like to take this opportunity bring to light the current food situation on campus. It is literally that bad - not only in the food giants of the campus namely Mess 1 and Mess 2, but also in other food courts currently on campus. Sure, they do their part by making our lives interesting because you never know what you might stumble upon on your plate.

Despite measures like heavy fines and cancellation of contracts being put in place by the SMC, it seems to make no difference on the service providers. Either the cost of the food is too high or there is a surprise gift on the plate like hair strands, metal wires or plastic pieces, insects of all kinds and textures (raw, roasted, fried, boiled etc.)

Some of the complaints that are being reported are so dreadful that one cannot turn a blind eye to them. There were egg shells in the Jain food in Mess 1, uncooked and raw chicken with blood stains was served in Mess 2 a few weeks ago; such hygiene standards are tough to beat.

Students sought to food stalls on days when there was terrible food in the mess menu. Their horrific experiences at the food joints seem to scare them to an extent where sleeping on an empty stomach doesn’t seem like a bad idea. There has also been a rise in the price discrepancies in the food stalls. Students claim the food to be too costly for the quantity being served (we all know the culprit, starts with a C and ends with a three – Yup C3, and of course the people’s choice, BnB). These food courts have also witnessed fluctuations in terms of hygiene.

BnB has been under constant fire for its high prices. As Ted Allen says, “People want honest flavourful food, not some show-off meal that takes days to prepare.” What better to describe BnB’s situation than this wise man’s words. It seems students can complete a full marathon by the time they receive their order . Same is the case with Mess 1 ANC. The sad part is, in ANC they are taking that amount of time to give free chicken in veg. fried rice. God knows what goes in the Chicken fried rice (gasps!). There are also some issues regarding the ‘South Indian’ food being served. Other than the Sambhar for breakfast there seems to be no proper item on the menu that can be truly considered as South Indian. There are also many complaints regarding the amount and type of oil being used in some breakfasts like Upma and in some other dishes, especially in Mess 2.

Gala dinners aren't much better either. They are becoming extremely boring for vegetarians, having to eat only a 'different coloured gravy’ of paneer every time.

Not to forget the about the temporary food stalls being put up during the fests, they seem to have forgotten Indian currency as all prices seem to indicate foreign exchange rates. It is no hiding matter that many people fell seriously ill after eating at one stall and this has been confirmed by some of the faculty members too. It must be ensured that such cases do not repeat and the respective authorities must see to it that strict actions are taken against them too.

There seems to be no end to such cases. In the month of January 2018 alone there have been over 10 issues raised but there was no response from the representatives. Though the students are being asked to send official mails, a response of any type on the SMC page of Facebook will be reassuring to the general body as well.

There are an equal number of such cases that go unreported. Now this is where the general body must step in. We are not paying such hefty amounts in fee to stay quiet, are we? Even the smallest of errors must be reported to the representatives.

All the above examples just give a glimpse of what is happening on the campus currently. Though many problems have been claimed to have been dealt with, given the state of things right now, it is hard to believe so. The general body is losing its hopes on the SMC. It’s time for the SMC to take charge of the situation and act accordingly. They must somehow increase their interaction with the general body and introduce a monthly feedback poll mechanism to meet their inadequacies and improve them.

Lot of strict actions to be taken right? We BITSians have become the definition of lite. Let’s bring about a positive change in this attitude starting with this case and take things the real ‘heavy’ way (bad pun alert!)