NAJAFGARH, NEW DELHI: The students of Chaudhary Brahm Prakash Ayurved Charak Sansthan, Asia’s largest ayurvedic hospital, have been on fire for more than two weeks now. The students of the institute have been on strike protesting against several problems that beseech the institute and its students.
The protesting students also complained about the cold shoulder given by the college authorities.
Speaking to The New Indian, the students said that they had been dealing with several problems ever since enrolling in the programme. Expressing dissatisfaction with the stipend they have received, the students said that the deteriorating infrastructure pushed them to strike.
“We have been on strike for the last 18 days. Our demands are very simple. We’ve been receiving the lowest amount of stipend among all the medical colleges in Delhi since 2016. The college administration has also threatened us to even cancel the stipend which is being provided,” Gaurav Shukla, leader of the protesting students, said.
The students also expressed their displeasure with the lack of support from the Delhi government.
“We took this issue to the institution authorities but they took no action. We even approached Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. He assured us of resolving the issues but they stalled us afterward,” Shukla further added.
Akshat Gupta, the fourth-year student, said that the college administration is reluctant to accept the demands of the students and has also been insensitive towards them.
“We’ve been sitting here for days without electricity facing the scorching heat and humidity during rainfall. We arranged everything on our own by contributing among ourselves even after nobody came from our faculty, it seems like we are non-existent,” Gupta said.
The students added that increasing the stipend is not their only concern. The lack of hostel facilities for female students means they have to live in apartments that are not very safe.
Speaking to The New Indian, Gaurav Phull, Deputy Medical Superintendent of the institute, said the institution doesn’t have the authorization to increase the stipend.
“In a letter in March 2020, the director informed the students that their issue has been taken up to Governing Council (GC) for raising their stipend. But since the GC has not been officially formed, only the government can provide them the hike they’re demanding. So, we’re helpless,” he said.
Phull dismissed the students’ allegations of being uncooperative.
Khushboo Bhagat, a student of the institute, alleged, “The college administration had earlier issued directives to reconstruct female hostels and renovate boys’ hostels which led to the fees hike, but nothing has happened since then.”
“Due to administrative failure of the college, the students and interns are suffering. There’s been no support either from the college authorities or the state government. This has been going on for years but no action is taken,” said Kushal Saraswat, another student leader.
While other medical colleges in Delhi have increased the stipend of their interns but the Chaudhary Brahm Prakash Ayurved Charak Sansthan hasn’t taken any measures, Saraswat claimed.
It is not the students who are suffering. Patients, who came to the hospital for treatment, complained about the unavailability of medicines.
Lal Babu Rao, a patient admitted to the hospital, revealed that the unavailability of medicines and unhygienic ward rooms is an issue that needs to be resolved.
“The treatment gets hampered due to limited stock of medicines. I had to buy medicines for my treatment from a private vendor at a high price. This defeats the purpose of coming to government hospitals,” Vinay Gupta, a patient admitted at the Ayurveda Hospital, said.
Phull, the official admitted that there’s been a shortage of medicines for the last eight months due to increased patient load during the pandemic.
“Our existing stock of medicines expired during the pandemic and we had to arrange the emergency stock for one month. We have ordered a fresh batch of medicines from the government portal since we can’t buy medicines from the open market.”