Sam Singh, the owner of a roadside stall near the Delhi School of Economics, has been selling the popular drink banta since he was 21 years old. He dreams of seeing his two young children among the thousands of students on the North Campus.
Singh's 19-year-old business has recently been hit by the advent of online forms. He says his daily savings have been reduced by almost half. "Till last year, I would save R500-600 daily. Nowadays, I barely manage to save Rs. 300-400. The kids who come to the university, however, remain the same confused and ambitious lot," he says.
The other vendors, however, are less bothered by the change in the admission process.
Sunil Sethi, a bhelpuri seller for the past 27 years, says he is not worried about being affected by the introduction of online forms. A measure of the popularity of his fare is the large crowd of aspiring students that surrounds him near the department of geology.
"My main clients are the officials in the colleges, they come to my stall no matter how hot or cold it is. There are many professors in colleges who have been regulars at my stall since they were in their first years of college," he says.
And it is not just food or drinks that these people serve.
"We become guides during this time as well. People come to us to ask about the location of different colleges, departments and faculties. We know as much about the university as the professors. I could counsel students about good courses as well!" he adds.