In 1971, Anil Kumar Verma, a graduate from Delhi University, would get Rs 80 each month as pocket money from his parents. Today, Kunal Arora, a Delhi University student, gets around Rs 3,000 a month. With Delhi University all set to re-open for the new session in July, HT City looks at the change in the amount of pocket money given to college students over the years.
“Rs 10 in today’s scenario has no value. But during the late ’70s, it was more than enough. Everything was available at cheap prices. We used to go out to have food and watch movies, but still by the end of the week, I would manage saving money,” says Verma.
Ashish Nanda, a media professional who was a college student in the early 1980s says, “I graduated in 1985 and in those days, if I had Rs 50 in my pocket, I could have anything and everything that I needed.”
The ’90s saw the earning capacity of parents, especially in the metro city such as Delhi and Mumbai, increase. Their kids’ pocket money increased in proportion.
“In our days, things like mobile phones, cars, bikes, hanging out in pubs and discos were things we hardly did. So Rs 100 a week was enough,” says Jaspal Singh, a businessman who graduated in 1996 from Delhi University. The increase in prices is one of the biggest factors for the increase in pocket money.
“Dal, that cost Rs 12 to Rs 20 per kg then, costs around Rs 100 in today’s time. I think year 2000 onwards, pocket money given just rocketed,” says Ambrish Verma, a jeweller who graduated in 2001.
Amit Bhardwaj, who works with a production house and graduated in 2004, used to get Rs 200 a week. “We never required cars to travel till college. We were used to walking to our college. Everything was reasonably priced,” he says. With the number of fast food chains opening up and latest technologies like iPhone being used by students, the amount of pocket money students get has shot up.
Kunal Arora, a student pursuing his graduation, gets Rs 700 a week from his parents.
He says, “Even this huge looking amount is not enough for a week. You have to take care of everything — parties, petrol, hangout, mobile phone recharges, etc. Petrol itself costs around Rs 100-200 per day. Everything is very costly and very different from the old times.”