Podar Hospital interns go on a hunger strike in protest over the hostel

An official from the management declared that the students — who are paid a stipend — can take care of accommodation and other needs


Around 300 students from RA Podar Ayurveda Medical College, Worli, have decided to go on an indefinite strike after protesting for the last 10 days against the management’s decision to not provide hostel accommodation for interns.  

The decision directly affects 60 students and also nearly 100 students from the subsequent batches in the coming years. However, the hospital administration has not paid any heed to their demands yet.

Students' pitiable condition even after several assurances

A trainee doctor summoned protesting against a decision that Podar Ayurvedic Hospital Administration passed, ruling that the interns cannot stay in the hostel. There has been no resettlement for the conditions of these interns even after 10 days into the strike on Wednesday. Recalling the state government’s promise of taking a decision of the interns' demands, nothing has been initiated from their side, according to the interns.

The students, who have to complete a year-long internship after completion of their four-year graduation course, receive a stipend of ₹6,000. Students said that the decision took them by surprise as students across medical colleges are allowed to stay on campus. An official from the management said that the students are paid a stipend so that they can take care of accommodation and other needs.

The students-made directorate of Ayurveda has intervened and held a meeting in this regard. Besides this, medical education minister Girish Mahajan along with other disciplines of the college- the principal of the college Dr. Govind Khati and also a students’ representative have sat down together to discuss the row. Girish Mahajan had assured that the decision will be taken after considering the student's stand and a round of consultation with the medical education secretaries. However, there is resentment among the students as there is still no satisfactory response.

So the meeting was just a farce?

There is no vacancy of rooms for students, where do we accommodate the interns?” interjected Govind Khati when approached by Mumbai Live.

In my opinion, Podar College is more than about a single student. In spite of the hostel’s capacity of 60 people, 186 students are living here. When PWD activists rendered the budget once again, the hospital did not bat an eye upon the administration. A large number of students are inconvenienced. And I know they will not understand the position where I am standing now. If I let them stay, I will have to cancel previous admissions. So I won’t be doing anything about it. I will welcome the decision of the ministers considering this issue. If they allow the students to stay back without providing for them, there is no reason why I would not agree to it.”

Administration weighing down students

The students are pressurised to suspend the strike by the administration. The students say that the administration should have notified them about the unavailability of accommodation in the hostel right at the commencement of the academic year.

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