Tiruchirapalli

Colleges go in search of cooks after opening hostels

Colleges are on a overdrive to find cooks, as they who had left for home and native villages after the hostels were closed due to the lockdown caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

The normal practice of the institutions is to hire cooks and renew their contract every year. They used to have a break of one or two months during summer, and get back to the institutions. Since the cooks have seemingly chosen to settle down in their villages for an alternative livelihood, they have now become scarce.

Many institutions are currently managing the situation by engaging erstwhile helpers who are usually from the neighbouring villages. “But the menu is limited. It will take more time for us to offer variety in the menu,” a Principal of a government-aided arts and science college in the city said.

The cooks, particularly those from the Chettinad area, have taken advantage of the situation and are striking a hard bargain, sources said.

Usually, the cooks are paid anywhere between ₹12,000 and ₹ 15,000 on a monthly basis, alongside free food and accommodation. They are likely to demand a few thousands of rupees more, according to a college teacher.

The college heads say they know fully well they cannot delay fixing the issue at once, since the students cannot be expected to be patient beyond a point in matters of food.

The situation is now manageable since the hostels are not functioning to full capacity. But the number of inmates is on the rise gradually. For once, college managements have realised that the demand-supply factor could work with teachers recruited for self-supporting programmes, but not cooks, and that the cooks need to be treated with more dignity henceforth.


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2022 2:47:46 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/colleges-go-in-search-of-cooks-after-opening-hostels/article36903307.ece