By Fakeha Naeem TDT3
But stomach growling, parched lips, dehydrated hungry students, Where to go to quell the hunger pangs? Cafeteria? No way! Wrong answer.
You ask why? Well, simply because the cafeteria has no food to offer to the students, the only thing one can stuff oneself with, is tea which is available 24/7 and has absolutely no nutritional value attached to it.
Every single day the same dialogue is repeated between the students and the caterers.
“Kuch khane ko hai?”
“Nahi jee nashta aik ghante pehle khatam hu gaya hai”
“Biscuits? Chips? Sandwiches?”
“Sandwiches will be ready at 10 not before that”
“Sandwiches abhi mileain gay?”
“Nahi jee it’s 11:30 ab lunch hour hai”
“Can we have some fries?”
“Jee only at 3”
Now consider this, some students have straight classes around 10 and finish after an hour and a half later while others have them around 3,what possible solution can the cafeteria offer to those who decide to attend their classes and give up food. If a student makes it at the right time and the stock made is finished they can stop hoping for more fries to be fried or sandwiches made within the 10 minute break between classes.
Other than the unavailability of proper food to the students the token system introduced in the cafeteria is annoying beyond belief. Every day a student has to buy a sheet worth Rs.100 and spend at least 10 minutes tearing the token amount required to buy food etc with either a ruler or cutter (whatever is available) which is ridiculous. Some students find it impractical to buy an entire sheet of token and waste money when all they want is to have tea or a drink worth 5 or 10 at maximum, so they resort to either borrowing tokens or simply just dropping the idea. Those who do buy the tokens usually loose track of where they kept their tokens last, if not then they are either crumbled or torn and the ones saved from the previous day have either been lost while going back home or the paper fell out of the pocket while taking out one’s cell phone or wallet. What happens when the token sheet gets torn half way? Crumpled beyond recognition? Does our money get wasted? Is the paper still valid? I know money still is.
Most importantly, what if at the end of the day a student wants water and is low on cash, has exact change to buy a certain drink or water but can’t because he is out of tokens and is unable to buy a new sheet because he doesn’t have the amount needed to buy one? Should he leave without water? Is that a sane solution?
One is forced to believe that either country club is not interested in catering for TIP and fulfilling the nutritional needs of the students or that they simply believe that the purpose of the cafeteria is to serve three meals a day and that’s that. No options no variety. Thus it shouldn’t come as a surprise if students start bringing their own food from home or go to Hadeed to get something proper to eat.
To top it off, the resident scholars seem to suffer most from the unavailability of food. Since there is no food the students can either stay hungry gulping down tea after tea all evening waiting hopelessly for dinnertime so that they can fill their stomachs with some or any form of food or arrange for alternate sources to stock up their food supplies.
With Ramazan lurking around the corner I wonder what we students will have to go through and what kind of menu would be devised to fulfill the students’ necessary dietary requirements.