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    Siddha University Dream still remains a Mirage

    Palayamkottai: As their dream of having a sprawling campus and upgrading their college into a university still remains a mirage, the students of Government Siddha Medical College here have displayed their ‘dream campus’ at the ongoing exhibition ‘Siddha 50’ as part of their institution’s golden jubilee celebration.

    As visitors step into the entrance of the main block of the college, the students’ ‘dream siddha university’ model welcomes them.

    The ‘miniature dream campus,’ with an administrative block, teaching block, hospital with separate in-patient and out-patients sections, herbal garden, library, hostels, playground, etc., speaks aloud the yearning of the students for realising such a well-equipped campus.

    Started on a cramped premises near Centenary Hall at Palayamkottai as a ‘makeshift arrangement,’ the college is yet to move to a permanent campus since the successive governments ‘searched’ for the right, spacious land for creating Siddha Medical University. When the students’ appeal became vociferous a decade ago, around 150 acres of land at Munneerpallam near here was identified for the purpose.

    Since this land with thorny bushes belongs to Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department, it was believed that Siddha Medical College would finally move to the permanent campus. The students were also happy about its location as it is situated very close to Palayamkottai and just 30 km away from the Western Ghats, known for its abundant herbal wealth.

    However, the administrators’ lack of interest still keeps the dream in abeyance.

    When a small piece of land near Kadayanallur was identified for the purpose, the students and the faculty members were not much enthused about it since the land was far away from Palayamkottai and Tirunelveli though it was much closer to the Western Ghats.

    “Moreover, the land identified will not be sufficient for creating all the infrastructure for a Siddha university,” says Vijay Vickraman, a postgraduate student of the college.

    “Our institution, which was started 50 years ago, should be now like a banyan tree providing shelter to thousands of birds and those who want to take rest under its shade. But, owing to negligence, lack of interest in conserving the medicinal system of the land and inability of our successive administrators, the college still remains like a bonsai. So, we’ve kept a hired bonsai banyan tree near our dream campus made of cardboard,” Dr. Vijay Vickraman says.

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