A lot of things happened since the lockdown was declared; students rushed to their homes, shops closed down, colleges and hostels became empty, etc. A lot of other things are happening on campus right now including hostels switching to a quarantine facility. For this article, 8 people from various fields were interviewed and here is the story of our campus.
Keeping Shops Open In Lockdown
As per CrPC Section 144 being imposed in Sinhgad Road Police Station area, the shops are allowed to operate from 7 am to 12 pm.
1. Ramesh Ojha, Maharashtra Shoppee
Ramesh Ojha is the owner of Maharashtra Shoppee, a shop in front of Panhala Boys Hostel.
He says that there has been a sharp decline in the business since students went home. Currently, supply is stopped from distributors and he has to go to the distribution center all by himself and get goods for his shop. To enter the area he has to show some documents including his shop license. Innumerable things are out of supply. These include Maggie, Cigarettes and cold drinks. Things that are supplied interstate are also unavailable since state borders are closed down. These include Balaji Wafers from Gujrat and a few other things.
He says that before lockdown, he used to get 500-600 customers daily and now the number has reduced to just 50-60. It is a 90% decline. Since the lockdown has begun, sales in wafers, bread, oil, cold drinks have increased. Milk sale has been doubled to 23 liters a day.
The items without MRP have their prices skyrocketed to twice or thrice the original. Items like oil, sugar, wheat flour have been increased to 3x the original.
He also adds that Police authorities have been very helpful in these times and everything is going on right without any problem.
2. Shankar Choudhari, New Maharashtra Stationary and Super Shoppee
Shankar Choudhari is the owner of New Maharashtra Stationary and Super Shoppee besides Raigad Boys Hostel.
When asked about how the sales have been, he says that the sale is declined since the lockdown was announced. On average, he gets nearly 40-50 customers throughout the day. Since the supplier is not providing items to the shops, he goes to the distribution center and fetches the necessary items needed for shops. Some items like Dettol Handwash, Daal, Sprouts have been scarce and if found, have to be bought at very high rates.
He says that people come after every 1-2 days and buy enough to last them for a few days. People are buying biscuits and farsan regularly. Milk is purchased daily. Earlier, students were most of his customers but now residents from nearby societies are also purchasing from his shops since DMart-Ambegaon was closed.
When asked about the present business, he says that margin from everything is decreased. Earlier biscuits and wafers had a 10% margin which is now reduced. He showed a distributor receipt where 10₹ biscuit pack was purchased at 9.55₹ which is a 4.5% profit margin.
3. Bhailal Chourasiya, Vegetable Vendor
Bhailal Chourasiya is a vegetable vendor and his shop is located near Raigad Boys Hostel beside A. K. Biryani & Caterers.
When asked about how his sales have been, he says that he has closed his shop 10 days ago since he was not able to get vegetables at reasonable prices. Since he does not have all the required documents, he was denied entry in vegetable wholesale markets like Market Yards and others. Unable to get vegetables for his shop, he had no choice but to shut it down.
He says that while his shop was open, he could make a sale of 1000 – 2000₹ per day which is much lower than what he could make before lockdown. He was unable to get fruits. No fruit except banana was available and at the normal prices.
He further adds that he did not find hoardings or bulk purchases by people. Every purchase was normal just like before lockdown. He says that there was a day where the price of every vegetable was very high.
When asked about the present financial condition, he says that it is okay but he wants to go to his home in Uttar Pradesh.
Labours Hoping To Go Home
In front of Nirman Ajinkyatara D-Wing Building, there live workers along with their wives and kids. Their total count is 52 and everyone is hoping to go home as soon as possible.
Asfal is one of the workers. When asked about how things are going, he says that since the lockdown has begun, construction work took a halt leaving workers jobless and without wages. Builders and contractors are helping them with food.
Ram Kumar, another construction site worker, said that although there has been no major problem yet, it is difficult to manage family expenses here without any daily wages. Normally, everyone used to earn 300-500₹ per day and now it is just 1000₹ per week, which is less to meet the family’s needs. He expects help from the government to improve conditions.
He further adds that no one has left for their homes. He hopes that lockdown gets over soon or at least they get permission to go home.
Mahesh Patel is another worker living there. He says that his wife is pregnant and the due date is in a month. He is worried about the present situation. He wants to take his wife to his home in Uttar Pradesh where he can take care of her.
Keeping Campus Operations Running
Mr. Chougule is the Estate Manager for Sinhgad Campus, Vadgaon Bk – Ambegaon. He also looks after every college hostel and mess.
When asked about students present on campus, he said that there are 130 students in college hostels of which more than 50% are foreign students from Afghanistan, Nigeria, Myanmar, Netherland, etc. and the others are Indian students whose flights or trains were canceled. These are living in the NRI hostel. Two messes that are currently functioning are Annapurna and Om Sai Mess.
Teaching and non teaching staff quarters are 50% occupied.
When asked how the campus staff has been keeping campus running, he says that there is 50% of staff is working. Around 150 to 170 staff members are doing their duties. These include cleaning workers, plumbers, sweepers, electricians, security personnel, wardens and other essential workers.
On-campus, clinics, pump houses, electric departments, generators, and banks are completely functional.
Quarantine Facility in Campus
When asked about quarantine facility on campus, he says that a total of 5 hostels is given to Government. These include 2 boys hostels — Panhala and Raigad; and 3 girls hostels near the main In-Out gate — Godavari, Yamuna, and Payaswani.
These hostels can accommodate up to 1600 people and in 3 days, there have been 400 people quarantined in these hostels. Currently, only Panhala and Raigad Hostels are being used. The people quarantined here are NOT Coronavirus Positive. These are only suspected people kept under observation, he added. Coronavirus patients are admitted to Hospitals and not in quarantine facilities. A person is kept under quarantine for 14 days.
He further adds that institute handed over hostels to authorities and they performed all setup. All staff in these hostels are government workers and institute staff is not involved in anything.
When asked about how long these quarantine facilities will work, he says as long as there is an outbreak, the quarantine facility will be there.
Providing Meals to Students Stuck in Campus
The owner of Sharda Mess, near Raigad Boys hostel. He runs a mess along with his wife.
He says that before lockdown nearly 150 thaalis were sold throughout the day and now that number is just 25. These 25 students are living across Ambegaon and Vadgaon. He provides meals cooked in his Apartment in Nirman Ajinkyatara D-Wing.
His daily routine is as follows
- Leaves for vegetable Market at 5 am in the morning.
- At 5:30, he gets in the queue.
- Till 7 o’clock he has to stand in line.
- He completes his shopping at 8 o’clock.
- At 10 am, they start to cook.
- They start distribution at 12:30 pm.
- They complete distributing at 2:30 pm.
In the evening,
- They start to cook at 6:30 pm.
- They start distributing meals at 8 pm.
- They’re by 9:30 pm.
He says that students are living in Anand Nagar, Vadgaon, Dabhadi Vasti Amabgaon, and Near Gandharva Veg Hotel. Since the gate in front of Polyhub Food Court is closed and sealed, the only way to go in Ambegaon is through Vadgaon. He has to take a 12-15 km route each time a day to provide meals.
He faces problems since vegetables have to be bought from a faraway market where the rates are twice or thrice as high. He has to stand in line for a long time, the petrol cost is now added and the margin is reduced. he still endeavors to provide meals to students living on the campus.
Some Pictures from Sinhgad Campus During Lockdown
This article is written by Ishwar Sarade and edited by Lubna Shaikh and Dishant Manhas. Photos are edited by Yash Dewangan.
An article with detailed information on Quarantine Facility will be published soon.