The reception area of the Jubilee hospital in Thiruvananthapuram witnessed a flurry of activities on Friday evening with a group of college students gathered there, wearing their uniforms and talking to each other. A little away from them, seated in the reception were some of the teachers from their college. This after around 30 students from the girls hostel of the Bethany Navajeevan College of Physiotherapy were taken ill on Friday morning due to food poisoning.
When TNM reached the hospital, the teachers said that the students were fine and many of them needed to get only a medicine for vomiting. “Around 25 to 30 students were brought to the hospital in the morning. But now, all of them are fine. We have taken most of the students back to the hostel. Now, only around 4 to 5students are remaining in the hospital, as they are yet to finish their bottle of drip,” said a teacher of the college, who did not wish to be named.
But on speaking to the students from the college, TNM managed to get a different picture of the incident. “This is not the first time that students are falling sick because of the food in the hostel. Even in the past, there have been incidents where students from the boys hostel of this college have fallen ill because of the food,” alleged Rahul* , a student from the Bethany Navajeevan College.
“More than 30 students were brought to the hospital. Around 40 students were brought to the hospital but the college faculty and teachers will try to keep the numbers less to save their face. Even in the hospital, they are making the hospital staff to finish treatment quickly so that they can take the students back to the hostel before the media arrive,” alleged another student, who had come to the hospital.
Meanwhile, the Food Safety Department officials had confirmed that it was the stale food provided in the hostel that was the cause for the food poisoning. Following this, KK Shailaja, the Kerala Minister for Health and Social Welfare had asked the Food Safety Department to submit a report following a probe.