December 8, 2023
NEW DELHI: Delhi University has decided to renovate its health centrein North Campus. However, DU’s decision to shift it to the basement of Umang Bhawan at Law Faculty during the construction period has become a cause of concern among teaching and non-teaching staff, who are arguing against running a medical facility from an area with no proper ventilation or sunlight.
Some of the staff working at the World University Service (WUS) health centre has also written to DU urging it to reconsider the decision. All teaching and non-teaching staff are members of the centre and contribute to it monthly as insurance charge. Devendra Sharma, the president of the Delhi University and College Karmachari Union, said, “On September 12, a meeting of the advisory committee was held and the staff were informed about the shift.”
The centre was commissioned by the World University Service, a Geneva-based international non-governmental organisation, in March 1955. The website of the centre states that approximately 7,200 superannuated university employees, over 18,500 permanent employees, their dependents and several resident and non-resident students are availing of its services. It has been catering to 600-800 beneficiaries every day for the past several years.
“It has X-ray facilities and labs, and different specialists come to attend to patients. The building that the university is planning to shift it to has a low height, no ventilation, no proper sunlight. The toilet facility may also not be adequate. If any infected patient comes, it can easily spread to others in such an environment,” said a staffer at the centre.
A teachers added, “The construction is not going to get completed in a short time. It would take a few years, and the centre functioning from the basement for that period is not a good idea. A medical facility needs to follow certain rules and the university is not thinking about various problems associated with its decision.”
Seema Das, an Executive Council member, said the vice-chancellor’s house could be well utilised to run the facility. “Both students and teachers utilise the facility for regular and emergency purposes. With the classes functioning on the other floors, the environment won’t be right for unwell people. Other buildings can be utilised; the VC’s house is vacant for now,” said Das.
The chief medical administrator of the WUS health centre did not want to comment on the issue.
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