University students staying in hostels and paying guest (PG) accommodations are facing a crisis as they are unable to buy food due to the ongoing cash crisis.
Hostellers at Amity University said they are solely reliant on fast food for all meals as the college canteen accepts only cash.
“We are not provided food at the hostel and eat at the college canteen, which has a diverse menu of dal, roti, sabji. However, they only accept cash and ever since the demonetisation came into effect, we have had to go to the outlets that serve pizzas, burgers and coffee,” Ananya Shrama, a first-year student at Amity University, from Himachal Pradesh, said.
Moreover, hostellers are not allowed outside the campus on weekdays.
However, the university management said it is taking steps to address the issue. “We have asked the canteen vendors to give food to students on credit till the cash crisis is resolved. They will note the student’s name from their ID card and the students can pay for the food after a month,” Savita Mehta, vice-president, communication, Amity education department, said.
A similar situation was observed at Sharda University, where students are dependent on branded food outlets that accept cards, while local shops selling foods such as parantha and rajma-chawal do not accept cards.
“The smaller food joints are now providing items on credit as most students are unable to pay in cash. However, the number of vendors who stood outside our college has also gone down as it is getting difficult for them to operate without cash,” Rohan Ahlawat, a fourth-year student at Sharda University, said.
For a strength of 25,000 students, Amity has three ATMs and two banks. However, two of the three ATMs are not working. “The only working ATM runs out of cash in two hours. There is no other way to get cash as we are not allowed to go out either,” Khushboo Swami, a first-year student at Amity University, from Ambala, said.
The same problem is faced by the students of Sharda University.
Ajeet Kumar, the joint registrar of Sharda University in Greater Noida, said, “We provide cash up to ₹2,000 to students who need it urgently, especially to the international students. We have a hospital on the university campus. Students are able to exchange their old notes for change here as well.”
Students said that their exams are approaching soon and they have to choose between standing in a queue for hours and studying.
“My exams start on November 28 and I have been going to the bank for three days. Each time, the bank ran out of cash after I stood there for two hours. I managed to get cash finally, on the fourth day,” Anaya Sharma of Amity University said.
She said that she was compelled to visit a bank for four days as the owner of her PG accommodation, in Sector 44, would not accept the scrapped banknotes.
“My PG owner did not accept the rent I gave on November 8, in ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes. He asked me to get them exchanged and pay in new notes. When I returned from home, I did not get much cash with me and the first few days after the demonetisation were very tough,” Sharma said.