Collector Siddharth Jain happened to become a direct witness to a live demo on the ‘poor quality’ of food provided in the Social Welfare hostels in the district during the Prajavani programme here on Monday, thanks to a novel protest by the Student Federation of India (SFI). The SFI activists presented food samples before the Collector during the programme with the allegations that it was not fit for human consumption. Backed by the SFI, the inmates of the Social Welfare hostel came in a procession to the Collectorate for a demonstration on the issue.

According to the SFI district vice-president Pilli Ramakrishna, the authorities of the Social Welfare Department were purchasing old stocks of dal for preparing curries in the hostels. As the inmates carried the lunch boxes with the curry made of dal with poor quality to the schools and colleges, it produced bad smell and become unfit to consume by noon, he said. The protesters sought action against the Assistant Social Welfare Officer and the Warden of the Social Welfare hostel complex at Ameenapet for allegedly harassing the inmates who protested over the substandard food served to them.

Each inmate receives Rs.1050 per month towards menu supplied in the social welfare hostels.

The inmates are entitled egg and fruit daily and sweet twice in a week as per the guidelines. But the SFI leader said the inmates were not receiving eggs and fruits for which the hostel authorities were claiming false bills and resorting to misuse of funds. The protesters requested the Collector to institute an inquiry to unravel the alleged fraud in the Social Welfare Department.

Similarly, the guidelines insisted on medical check-ups by qualified doctors in all the Social Welfare hostels once in every week, involving all the inmates. But there were no such instances happening in any hostel across the district, Mr. Ramakrishna said.