A Tale of Kashmir University’s South Campus

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Kashmir University’s South Campus, one of the satellite campuses of the university, is going through its best as well as the worst times. The campus is located in a hilly area besides an army camp in district Anantnag. The campus is located on such a high ground that sometimes it feels like the plan was to actually build the satellite campus in space but the building somehow got dropped on a remote hill.

While the location may be not be impressive or accessible easily, the faculty available certainly make up for it. Almost all of the faculty members are either JRF qualified or alumni of reputed institutes like JNU, Jamia Milia and Oxford. There is no doubt about their potential. But a sound mind needs a cranial box too. But this cranial box, the infrastructure is sadly missing.

Most of the buildings have been built in such that they don’t really serve any purpose. There are two hostels, both for boys but only one has a working mess. The other hostel has got a mess but it has been converted into a library, given the space crunch the campus is facing. The students of this hostel have to walk almost half a kilometer just to have their meals. Also the mess isn’t run by the university authorities. It is being run by the students and by running I don’t mean the usual mess secretary responsibilities. I mean the students have to actually collect money, purchase food items and even arrange cooks. The whole process wastes our precious time. Being students our only job should be to concentrate on our studies, not worry about what food items to purchase and how to arrange cooks so that we don’t have to go hungry. I mean if that is what we were supposed to do, why would we have opted to live in a hostel in the first place? I don’t understand why the university can’t issue tenders for managing the mess?  If they do, it will indeed be a great service to the student community.

Everyone is talking about the IT revolution and the world being a global village but our campus is still stuck in the Stone Age as it doesn’t even have Wi-Fi connectivity. There is a Wi-Fi connection but the students can’t use it.There was a room reserved for the students to browse but it was closed down after the generator developed a technical snag. Of course there is the IT Section where students could go to use the internet but that particular section is always occupied by an employee who only smokes and watches wrestling for the whole day. It is wastage of public money. The government is paying his salary from the tax payers’ money but all he cares about is watching wrestling. The guy almost always turns a deaf ear to the students’ problems and is never ready to help. The campus is totally lost in tall grasses. 

The gardeners’ employed for this purpose seem to have the super power of sleeping and lazing around all day and as such the campus is slowly turning into a jungle. Also the campus lacks any kind of sports equipment or a gym, where one can go to de-stress after a tiring day. Talk about staying connected to the outside world and the campus actually holds a record. The campus gets very few newspapers and not every student gets access to these papers. So, I wasn’t joking when I said that the campus is still set in Stone Age.

I don’t want to accuse the University of neglecting the south campus. What I am trying to point out is how our whole system is at fault. We aren’t at peace with ourselves. We don’t understand our responsibilities and duties. We have this bad habit of thinking as long as I don’t get affected, it doesn’t matter. But it does. One shouldn’t work because one is getting paid. One should instead work for the greater good. One should try to make this world a better place. We often refuse to take care of public property saying it is the government’s job but it is our job too. In fact it is our priority. The public property is built with our money and our resources and if we don’t take care of it, who will?

A university is not a place where one simply goes to receive an education. A university is a place where we develop intellectually and personally. We become responsible individuals who will tomorrow lead the society to success. But when we don’t have access to basic facilities, how are we supposed to tread on the path of development. The university has increased its fee twice since last year but we are getting no services in return. The university has started supplementary classes saying that now more students will be able to seek admission in the University but we don’t need quantity. We need quality. The quality of education the University promises. The quality of education we are paying for and the quality of education we deserve. The university should focus on improving the existing infrastructure or decrease the student intake because no breakthrough in research is possible in the university given the space crunch.

 

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