Kolkata: Universities in Bengal have been asked to switch to healthy food in their canteens. According to University Grants Commission’s (UGC) recent order, central varsities such as Jadavpur University, Presidency University will have to change their menu to incorporate healthier food items.
Soups, sandwich, boiled egg, momos and roti-sabzi have been identified as the healthier options. The university students, habitual to junk food, such as rolls, chops, chowmein and fried food are finding it hard to digest.
The UGC’s decision comes in the wake of a health survey and report which has raised concern over the growth of lifestyle disease among teenagers, especially school going and college going children.
Diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, stomach ailments and liver related problems have sharply increased in the age group of 18-30 years. The UGC authorities have asked the colleges to ask their canteen to sell only health food.
Promode da’s canteen in Presidency and Milan da’s canteen in Jadavpur University keep changing the menu catering to the taste of the students.
“A UGC’s order cannot dictate the food choice of students. If we don’t sell the items they prefer, the students will buy their tiffin outside the campus,” said an employee of Jadavpur University canteen.
A delicacy, dhoper chop, which is a fried item, sells like a hot cake in Jadavpur University. The canteen people feel that it will be difficult to replace such an item.
Smoking and drinking inside the canteen is not allowed, but the colleges choose to overlook this matter.
“Do you think college goers are kids? Their preferences cannot be controlled. This notification will not be accepted. They are trying to tell us what we should eat which is ridiculous,” said Jayita Bhattacharjee of Arts faculty.
The Presidency University will take a call only after discussing it with students’ forum.