Santosh Meena’s parents had taken loans at exorbitant interest rates five years ago when he made it to the Indian Institute of Technology– Bombay (IIT-B). But when the dual degree engineering student got in, he realised that alumni loans were much cheaper and opted for one.
When Meena graduated from IIT-B on Sunday, he promised to return the favour and signed up for IIT-B’s new initiative ‘GO IIT-B: Give one for IIT-Bombay’.
The unique initiative invites fresh graduates to pledge one per cent of their salary for the institute’s growth. “I know how important it is for students to get these loans. I will contribute to this fund for as long as I can,” said the 22-year-old.
The response to the initiative has been overwhelming with 735 of the 1,000 students, who attended the convocation last week, signed up almost immediately. While one per cent might seem measly, when added it becomes a substantial amount.
With an average IITain’s annual salary being Rs 7 lakh, a one per cent contribution (Rs 7000 per person), from the pool of 750 students will add up to more than Rs 50 lakh in a year. “The loyalty of fresh graduates is at their peak, so we want them to start donating early,” said Bakul Desai, an alumnus who came up with the idea. “With most of our alumni all over the globe it gets difficult to coordinate with them. So, when they sign up at the beginning it is much easier. Also, with fresh graduates signing up, we are hoping it encourages older batches to contribute.”
Students can give their gurudakshina after they start earning and they can renew their pledge every year.