A Blended Lane Of Ameliorations : KMS Hall Review
Situated far away from the bustling academic and hostel areas, Kiran Majumdar Shaw Hall of Residence is one of the most sought after female boarding abode of the Institute. Under the supervision of the warden, Prof. Kakoli K Paul, it has experienced refinement by leaps and bounds. Over the past years, the boarders witnessed a progressive development in the facilities and a peaceful stay here. With recent hall elections and a beginning to a fresh tenure of new post holders, the budget is yet to be allocated to the halls for the various arenas. After a thorough and profound look into the matter, Team MM gives you an insight into one of the most sought after hostels of the campus.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND LODGING
Ranging over 4 blocks, KMS homes around 450 residents comprising of BTech, MTech, MBA, MSc, Ph.D. students, amidst the lush green. The A-block consists of 26 three-seater rooms, B-block 38 four-seater rooms, C and D block, flanked by a common corridor consists in total of 104 two-seater rooms. The complaints of uncomfortably small rooms and single LAN port in two-seater rooms of C and D block persists. There is a single water-cooler in each block, which adds more woes to the boarder's plight due to frequent malfunction.
The primary requirement of boarders, mess food, is not up to the mark in terms of nutrition. The quality of the mess food has been deteriorating, and insects and plastic objects are oftentimes found in the food. The mess menu for the whole year remains consistent while certain dishes are added on special occasions to it. The serpentine queues in front of the mess during the breakfast and the lunch hours, when the students are in a hurry for the classes, enforce them to skip the meal. The mess appears to lack the ample number of staff members.
The boarders are anticipating the best amendments from the newly elected HEC members, on the improvement of the quality and quantity of the mess food. A google form was circulated by the mess secretary seeking suggestions on the food items keeping in minds the concerns of both the vegetarians and the non-vegetarians, notifying the improvements to be made.
The newly elected mess secretary, Swagatika Biswal stated,
The mess is the only thing we all are connected with. Personally encountering all the existing problems with the mess food, we are looking into this matter thoughtfully. We are planning a trial menu system at first, for which google forms have been circulated. After going through it, we will decide the mess menu and it will be updated regularly after discussion with the warden and boarders. And the hygiene of the food will be taken care of.
MAINTENANCE AND HYGIENE
The washrooms and corridors of every block are cleaned regularly while there exist some immeasurably bad conditions in few washrooms. Boarders have to approach the sweepers for cleaning of rooms, which was supposed to be done once in a week. Geysers are dysfunctional in some places. Boarders have spotted worms, insects, and snakes in the bathroom and rooms, coming through the windows and open channels in the bathrooms. Many a time, dogs and cats are perceived to be the long-standing residents of the hall. Uncovered drains promote the mosquito populace.
The environment secretary, Devisree Anusha stated,
We are planning to take certain measures in the curtailment of snakes and worms. We have planned to regularly spray insecticides to get rid of worms and other insects. Stray dogs always mess up at my sights so we will look into that problem as well.
Despite all the unsanitary conditions, it is also the sole duty of the boarders to keep them clean, follow the rules to the best interest of all.
GYM AND RECREATION
Hosting a badminton court, a basketball court and a not-so-functional gymnasium show the neglected condition of sports in the hall. Most equipment of the gym is not functioning, and the basketball and badminton court floors lay cracked.
The sports secretary Sanjukta Sarkar holds an agenda to improve this status and said,
We will be talking to the central gym trainer to get new equipment for the gym. I’m preparing a list of sports equipment and will talk to the warden soon. We are also planning to have a hall team for basketball and badminton to encourage girls participation in sports.
LATE ENTRY TIMINGS
Recent changes have been introduced in the late entry timing for the boarders and are deemed to 7.30 pm for all the freshmen girls while its 11.00 pm for all others. Freshmen girls are finding it difficult to manage with the timings considering the club activities, keeping this in mind an amendment of shifting it to 8.30pm for freshers has been done.
KMS Hall continues to surprise the fresher girl boarders with another new custom of locking the B-block gates at 10.00 pm in the night to restrain ragging.
The authorities contradict their newly introduced rule by accommodating few freshers in the C and D block, under a common roof along with their seniors, consequently pondering the credibility of the rule itself.
A resident of B-block Sneha Mallick said,
The water cooler of the B-block remained unfunctional for some time and when the door locks at 10.30 pm it becomes a problem to get the water bottle filled.
DAY AND NIGHT CANTEEN
The hall hosts a day canteen located at the center of the hall which serves snacks and other edibles to the boarders, at affordable prices. Next to it stands the night canteen, which provides few food items to students and its hygiene and maintenance are always questioned upon.
A sophomore Bhavana Nahata said,
I found hair twice in the food they provide which legitimately questions their maintenance of the kitchen, also they don’t wear caps and the vegetarian and non-vegetarian food items are mixed sometimes. Also, it is open only till 12.30, whereas we need it till 3 sometimes.
Garnering with the basic facilities, there is a departmental store and a beauty parlor in the hall premises. The cycle stand of the hall has been extended this year, and there is an electric air pump provided in the stand for the boarders. A study room recently renovated and air-conditioned is situated on the first floor of B block. A common room is situated next to the A block with the ground floor equipped with gym table tennis and carrom table, and the first floor as a music room and TV room. The newly constructed guest washroom is a matter of appreciation.
One of the boarders puts her opinion:
The living conditions are deplorable. If more girls are coming to the college, then shouldn't there be a steady influx of money? Where's that money going? Why can't you accommodate them in other hostels? The mess has a family of cats who lick the plates. Is this the standard of hygiene that should be maintained in a hostel mess? There are no chairs or tables for people, which is a basic amenity.
TETE A TETE WITH THE WARDEN
Team MM caught up with the warden, Prof Kakoli K Paul to discuss some pertinent issues and know more about her ideas and missions.
Monday Morning (MM): How has been your experience so far as the warden of the Hall?
WARDEN (W): I took over the responsibility as the warden of KMS Hall of Residence in July 2018. The boarders seemed to be satisfied with all the amenities furnished, and I am continuously trying to assist them in my best convincing ways.
MM: Why have all the third-year BTech students been shifted to CVR Hall, this year?
W: Due to the increment in ladies quota this year, the chief warden recommended keeping all the Btech, Mtech, MBA first-year students here in KMS. And KMS being a little hall, in comparison to the other halls within the institute, can not accommodate both 2nd-year and 3rd-year students at the same time. So it was decided to shift the third years to CVR Hall of Residence, and 2nd-year BTech students are residing here.
MM: Why is the late entry timings for first-years made at 7:30 pm while it was 11 pm for the previous batches of freshers?
W: The first-year students hail from various states, countries, and they need some time to adapt themselves to their current surroundings. This change is primarily due to the safety and security of the fresher students. Keeping in point the student's concern, the late entry time has been stretched to 8:30 pm for the first years. Once they acquaint themselves with the environment, it will again be shifted to 11 pm. Perhaps after Dussehra vacation or December, the aforementioned rule would be taken up. This has yet not been decided.
MM: What is the current late entry rules? What actions are taken if someone violates it?
W: There are no specific rules concerning late entries. Actions will be taken if the boarders go against it frequently. At the first occurrence, boarders are given a warning, and at the second occurrence, their parents are called. After the third, the institute has to take action. We are also preparing sheets to maintain the late entries done by each student. This would help us identify them precisely, and we can administer the action, therefore.
MM: Why is the door of B block locked at 10 pm? Many a time, the water cooler doesn't function properly. In such a case, how will the boarders get access to water coolers of other blocks and the night canteen?
W: The junior's block is locked to curb ragging, and the keys are with the security in case the gate needs to be opened during an emergency. The water coolers are fixed within a few hours of complaint.
MM: Why is the only study room present in B block been locked?
W: The study room is no more locked now. In between, it was locked due to the installation of air conditioners. But now it is no more locked, and students find it comfortable after it is air-conditioned.
MM: Why are the gym types of equipment not in proper functioning condition?
W: There is very less demand for the gym. And the two types of equipment are working. We want the students to come up with the gym requirements, the way they ask for badminton rackets and all. Hence we are not spending much on those types of equipment. The budget allocated for this is being utilized in the maintenance of other areas.
MM: There have been issues regarding the electricity supply in C and D block. The MCB fails even on connecting laptop chargers. Is there any plans to fix it?
W: The boarders might be using some other electric appliances like iron, electric kettle. And if it is about charging laptops, we have not received any complaints regarding that. There is a complaint register kept in the security office, and the boarders should register their complaints there. And we will look into that if it is for some rooms or the entire block.
MM: Why only a single LAN port fitted in C and D block, while the rooms are double seaters? And LAN divider is not provided above to that?
W: If the boarders ask for LAN splitters, then only we can provide, and no one has brought this thing to our notice, and they should ask for it. And they should mention all these in the complaint register.
MM: What all challenges did you face while maintaining the hostel and what improvements do you wish to bring?
W: What I feel, these are interesting challenges to tackle with. For instance, few students ask for single rooms, and we forbore them from staying alone in a double seater room. No such hardships have been encountered till now.
MM: What are your expectations from the newly elected HEC members? What are their expected roles? How do you plan to work hand in hand with them?
W: They seem to be very energetic and enthusiastic. We will soon be having a meeting with the HEC members. The things which will be proposed by our secretaries and the decisions which will be taken in the general body meeting will be implemented properly. We are always here to support the initiatives taken by the HEC members. We are quite satisfied with the budget the hall gets, as it is sufficient for the moment.
The warden hereby advises the boarders to list their complaints in the complaint register kept in the security office, which is being regularly verified by the authorities.
Ex-General Secretary, Swadha speaks:
KMS is blessed with a pleasant environment. The maintenance and security of the hall are very well maintained. Apart from the spacious infrastructure, the hall requires some basic reforms, due to which, we faced a lot of issues. Due to the lesser number of occupancies, the overall budget of the hall is low. For the institute to be in a race with other top colleges in the country, facilities like washing machines and wardrobes are necessities and should be taken care of by the hall management. While laundry services are consistently being provided in boys' hostels, both KMS and CVR are deprived of it, whereas, use of electrical appliances such as electric press is considered illegitimate. Also, contrary to other halls, where the departmental store is open throughout the day, the case was not the same in KMS and it was very difficult for the students to adjust with the timings of the person in charge.
Though there are a few issues that need to be looked into, KMS is regarded as the place where "girl boarders prefer to stay”. The Warden is very obstinate about this year’s Hall Executive Committee and hopes to resolve the persistent problems with ease. The newly elected HEC is correspondingly enthusiastic and has quick response towards problems of the boarders and staff. But at the end of the day, the boarders need to take initiative to solve their problems and not be hesitant to approach the warden if the need arises. We genuinely hope the proposals work out after the budget allocation, and KMS turns into an even finer residence for the students.
Team MM wishes the Warden good luck to accomplish all the goals she has set to make KMS a better place to live in.