Demanding basic amenities in their college and stipend for Dalit students, a group of students of Mano College, Sankarankovil staged demonstration on the Collectorate premises for a while and submitted petition to Collector M. Jayaraman in this connection during the weekly grievance day meeting held on Monday.
The protesting students and students' council chairman E. Mahesh said that though more than 470 students, most of them from poor families, were studying in the college, housed in a rented building on the Sankarankovil – Seevaraayanenthal Road, infrastructure facilities were far from being satisfactory.
“While there are no toilets or urinals for the boys, 250-odd girls have to use only a couple of toilets in the college, where water facilities were inadequate. We are relying upon the nearby shops for drinking water.
After the problem worsened, a drum-full of drinking water is being brought once a week to the 8-year old college, where it is mixed with the salty water available in the college and given for drinking purpose to the students,” Mr. Mahesh said.
The students also complained that over 120 Computer Science students were being compelled to do their practical examinations in the three computers hired from an outsider even as a couple of ‘outdated computers' allotted for the Sankarankovil Mano College were gathering dust for the past several years.
“We've already forwarded several complaints to the Manonmaniam Sundaranar University administration in connection with the problems faced by us, but in vain,” Mr. Mahesh said.
Registrar, MSU, S. Manickam, while assuring his best to ensure the supply of drinking water and the establishment of toilets on the college premises, said they had already placed orders for purchasing 20 computers for this college and they would be installed in near future.
“Though there is no assistance from the government for running the Mano Colleges, established with the prime objective of bringing quality education to the doorsteps of the poor students, we always try to provide all possible facilities to the students of these colleges… We're on the verge of getting 5 acres of land for the Mano College at Puliyangudi and hence we are always open for generous contributions from the philanthropists for strengthening the infrastructure facilities in the Mano Colleges. Without the benevolent contributions of the community, running community colleges like Mano Colleges will be really a difficult task,” Dr. Manickam noted.