The Health Minister recently introduced the SODEXO in GMC which is a French foodservice and facilities management company to cater the Goa Medical College Students and Patients, but what created the sparks was the compulsory enrolment of the medical students for the mess by paying Rs. 4000/- per month irrespective of the fact whether they eat at the mess or not. Not only that, but the students also complained about the food not as per their taste and standard.
In the past, the number of Hostelites at the Goa Medical College has been availing of the mess services on the lines of a restaurant, where students had a different menu every day. Students had to pay only for what they ordered and that too if they decided to eat at the mess. They also had a choice of not eating at the mess.
According to the reports after the entry of SODEXO the MBBS students have been forced to shell out the mandatory food fees to the tune of rupees four thousand every month for food at the hostel mess, irrespective whether they eat the food or not.
The student’s council of the GMC held a meeting on Friday to discuss what they call as an irrational move. However, with the entry of Sodexo, students will now have a specific menu and are unhappy with the bland taste of the food.
The main bone of contention, with the students though, is the fact that all those availing the use of the hostel will be forced to shell out Rs. 4000 a month irrespective of whether they want to eat there or not.
Sodexo was appointed by the Government to ensure that quality and nutritious food is available to patients, students, and visitors to the hospital. Sodexo is a French multinational food service and facilities management company present in over 80 countries.
Except for one canteen, all canteens in GMC have shut a few months ago after Sodexo was appointed. Since then on, the staff, students and visitors had no access to quality food on the campus and had to either go to Panjim or visit nearby eateries located a few kilometers from the hospital.
All canteens in the premises were raided a year ago and those not meeting standards were asked to stop operations. All students had decided to oppose the move and address the Press at the GMC Canteen at 1.00 in the afternoon, last Friday.
However, when the authorities heard about the move, police personnel was deployed outside the canteen and the students were forced to call off the press briefing.
Along with the students, Rajan Mayekar, who used to run the canteen in GMC, was also furious with the Health Minister claiming that he was “forcefully evicted” from the canteen and replaced by Sodexo.
He further claimed that the Health Minister called him up at 11 pm at night and asked him to vacate the premises and much as he pleaded for time, the Minister started issuing him threats.
He further said that only 15 days notice was given to him but as it was Ganesh Chaturthi most of his workers were on leave and had requested for a month to vacate. He stated that it was not possible for him to sack his workers overnight but even this request was turned down as the Health Minister wanted to bring a company from outside.
It remains to be seen whether the Health Minister and authorities take the grievance of the students in consideration as well as that of the canteen owner.
Image Source: GMC