NSA In Dire Straits, Students Packed Like Sardines In Small Rooms

Congested rooms and filthy toilets say it all at NSA. Image Credit: Sangai Photo.

IMPHAL, Feb 17: Contrary to all expectations reposed in the National Sports Academy (NSA) by the sports crazy people of Manipur, the academy is caught in a serious crisis with no efforts seen to rectify things.

With the hostel in utter shambles, many students of the academy have started deserting the hostels for their homes.

A late report however said that the students have started streaming back to the hostel.

Of the several shortfalls and problems plaguing the National Sports Academy located inside Khuman Lampak Sports Complex, the worst part is pathetic condition of the hostel.

Both girl students and boys are being housed in a single hostel building.  The hostel rooms are also very congested.

The students are not provided any furniture items for reading. Under such circumstances, the students are reading books on their beds.

The conditions of the toilets are in no better shape. In the absence of any sweeper, students are being forced to sweep the floors themselves.

During a visit by this reporter to the hostel, it was found that many portions of the floor and walls crumbled or their plasters peeled off.

Some of the rooms were filthy as filthy can be as many of the cupboards were out of order. Moreover, many doors and windows were in shaky conditions.

Compelled by these unhealthy conditions and sub-standard facilities provided to them, around 100 hostellers of the academy left for their homes after having breakfast this morning.

Understandably, the basic complaint of the students is to make the hostel habitable.

Other major problems of the academy are absence of regular Principal, shortage of both teaching and non-teaching staff and absence of potable water connection

Talking to this reporter, one student of the academy said, “there are 60 girl students in the college and they are provided a single toilet”.

“We used to line up in queue every morning to use the toilet in turn. Most often, many students got up before dawn so that they can use the toilet without waiting for long in queue”, the girls said.

Another girl student said that there are five beds in a room and some of their rooms are lighted by a single bulb.  “As there is neither table nor chair, we used to read our books on beds. Again, we divided ourselves into different groups and took the responsibility of sweeping rooms in turn for there is no sweeper”, she said. The building of the National Sports Academy was built by Manipur Development Society with funding from Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources and Ministry of DoNER and it was inaugurated by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi on December 30, 2009 with high hopes and expectations.  The academy has classes VI to IX and 161 students. The academy is training the students on six sport disciplines––Taekwondo, Archery, Weightlifting, Judo, Boxing and Wrestling.

Talking to The Sangai Express about the condition of the hostel, Principal in-charge T Punyachandra admitted that the hostel is too crammed.

“The hostel does not belong to the academy. The NSA is using it temporarily on hire. Even though its capacity is only 100, 161 students are staying in the hostel at present”, he said. Construction of a hostel for the academy has been completed but the hostel has not been handed over to Youth Affairs and Sports Department by Manipur Development Society (MDS) which built the hostel with funding from DoNER Ministry. This new hostel has separate blocks for boys and girls. MDS would hand over the hostel to YAS Department before March 15 this year, the Principal in-charge informed.

Talking about students leaving the hostel, Punyachandra said that it was matter of grave concern as the annual examinations are round the corner.

Conveying that the students made an appeal to let them shift to the new hostel, the Principal in-charge, nevertheless, maintained that the students need to bear with  the present inconveniences for sometime as shifting to the new hostel requires completion of due official process.

He further appealed to all concerned parents to bring back their wards to the hostel at the earliest.

Examinations for the academy would be conducted and its results declared before Yaoshang festival.  The next session would commence from April, he added.

Regarding the strength of teaching and non-teaching staff, Punyachandra said that the academy has three full fledged teachers and three private tutors in addition to six trained Graduate teachers deputed to the academy from Govt schools. Further, due process has been completed to recruit another six teachers on contract basis. Necessary initiatives have also been initiated to make water connection, he said.

On the other hand, parents of two students who ran away from the hostel this morning said that basic reasons for students deserting their hostel are pathetic condition of the hostel, failure to provide track suits for different disciplines and failure to provide text books.

They also expressed their worry at students running away from their hostel. For enrolment in the academy, students between 10-12 years have to undergo medical and physical fitness test before sitting for written test.

Once admitted, they are given boarding facilities, text books, clothes and ration free of cost.  Though the academy is hardly two years old, some of its students have already won gold medals in national level sports championships.

Girl students of the academy won first position as their male colleagues won third position in school category of this year’s Republic Day march past competition.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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