The students union at the Kottayam Medical College secured an important victory on Friday night after protests by students of the girls hostel to extend their curfew from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm was finally accepted by the college authorities.
This comes after months of pleading and requests. Initially, from the warden of the girls hostel to the principal of the college, nobody paid heed to their request to extend the curfew timings, which was causing immense inconvenience to the students.
Talking to TNM, Amrutha Varshini, a third year MBBS student said that the students had very basic demands.
“We have been requesting the principal to extend the curfew from 7:30 to at least 8:30 pm. But he never even bothered to listen.”
Amrutha goes on to say that the boys hostel of the college has no such thing as a curfew and even the curfew at girls hostels at the Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram Medical Colleges extend up to 9:30 pm.
“Whenever we approached the management about the curfew extension issue, they would hide behind the excuse that the decision was taken during the PTA meeting,” she said.
Finally, when the students felt that their requests were falling on deaf ears, they decided to protest. On Friday night at 7:30, just before they locked the gates, all the students of the girls hostel got out and started protesting outside the gates of the hostel.
Talking to TNM, Gadha, the Students Union Vice-Chairperson of the Kottayam Medical College said that it was high time the college realised the inconvenience that the students have to face because of the curfew.
“There are not many places or things to do near our college. We have to go till Kottayam town if we want something. We can only leave after classes get over at 4 and we have very less time to spend there as we have to get back before 7:30,” said Gadha.
There is a medical tuition centre, which is just two minutes away from the college, where students from the girls hostel are also going. “The timings of the tuition centre are from 5 pm to 9 pm and the Rs 40,000 fee has already been paid for a year. But the hostel warden and the college authorities have said that they will not allow students coming after 7:30 to enter the hostel,” said Gadha.
The authorities said that the students attending the tuition can attend the classes till 7 and leave to the hostel after that, Gadha added
On Friday night, around 11:30 pm, the Vice Principal of the college addressed the protesting students and based on the orders given by the principal, the curfew of the girls hostel has been extended till 9:30 pm.