The Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, has created a unique fund by raising money out of profits from a stationery shop and fines imposed on erring students, to help needy students.
When 19-year-old Eshwar Saini scored low because of keeping unwell and his scholarship was stopped for the semester, he had little hope of continuing studies. But IIT-D’s Board for Student Welfare (BSW) helped him pay his fees by giving him ` 22,000. Saini’s father is a farmer in a village at Bundi in Rajasthan and earns about Rs 50,000 a year.
“My father is a small farmer and cannot pay my fees. Last semester, I fell ill and could not score enough to get scholarship. I contacted BSW and based on my need they gave me aid and now I can focus on managing a good score to get my scholarship back,” Saini, a third-year student of B.Tech said.
Undergraduate students are given up to Rs 25, 000 twice while postgraduate students are given the amount once during their entire course. Siddarth Jain, general secretary BSW, said, “We do look into the application and check if the student deserves it or not,” he said.
The money to provide financial aid to these students is generated from a stationery shop which is run inside the campus. “The profit made by the shop is collected as funds. We also collect money through fines imposed on students who break rules like bringing bikes inside the campus. We collect around Rs 3-4 lakh throughout the year,” SK Gupta, dean students’ affair, said.
Another student Ashish Yadav said that after his parents failed to pay his mess fee he contacted BSW. “My father is a farmer and last semester we did not have money to pay my fees. But BSW helped me,” Yadav, an M.Sc student, said.
Gupta said that many students who come from socially and financially backward background end up getting into a vicious cycle where they are not able to focus on studies. “Their background is such that they need to focus extra on studies but due to financial constraints they cannot. If their scores go down, they don’t qualify for scholarships and can’t pay fees. We want to ensure that no student stops studies due to financial constraints. We streamlined this process from 2012,” he said.