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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

'Delhi gang-rape deters foreign students from coming to India'

PTI  Nainital, April 04, 2013
First Published: 16:06 IST(4/4/2013) | Last Updated: 16:09 IST(4/4/2013)

The Delhi gangrape incident has led to a decline in the number of students coming to India during summer break to work with different NGOs in Uttarakhand as volunteers or interns, claims an NGO based in the city.

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"We have registered a 50% decline this year in the number of foreign students we receive every year during summer to work as volunteers or interns with us," executive director of Nainital based NGO Central Himalayan Environment Association (CHEA) Pushkin Pakthiyal said.

Camvol, a UK based organisation which arranges volunteer students from the Cambridge University for select NGOs in India including CHEA, attributes this decline in the number of volunteers from abroad to a sense of insecurity engendered in them by the Delhi gang-rape incident, Pakthiyal said.

"The Delhi gangrape incident has scared the students and they don't want to come to India for the valuable experience they gain while working with us," the CHEA executive director said citing a communication from Camvol.

At least half a dozen students from eminent universities based in United Kingdom, Spain, France and USA work with the NGO for 2-3 months every year to gain first hand experience at the grassroots in the field of social enterprise and other areas of their interest.

These volunteers are sent out in the field by the NGO taking into account their area of interest and academic background and asked to prepare a project report.

The NGO received at least two students annually till last year from Cambridge but no application was received this year from the prestigious university, he said.

A similar situation is being faced by other NGOs including Central Himalayan Rural Action Group (CHIRAG) and Centre for Ecology Development and Research (CEDAR), Pakthiyal said.


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