Mumbai: Mood Indigo festival hit by demonetisation blues

IIT-B’s annual festival faces budget crunch as six of 25 sponsors say they will pay 50% of the sponsorship amount only after a couple of months

IIT Bombay’s Mood Indigo is one of the country’s most popular college festivals. Representation pic
IIT Bombay’s Mood Indigo is one of the country’s most popular college festivals. Representation pic

Mood Indigo, IIT Bombay’s annual cultural festival and one of the country’s most prominent college fests, has also taken a hit due to the ongoing demonetisation drive. The festival’s budget has gone down by 25 per cent as sponsors have said they will give 50 per cent of the promised amount now and the rest, after a couple of months.

Students handling the four-day fest — which will be held from December 23 to 26 — are struggling with the lack of budget and fewer participants from campuses throughout the country, as the students are avoiding paying Rs 400 to Rs 600 in cash for the participation forms. Around six of the 25 sponsors have said they’d have to delay the rest of the payment for the festival.

“Every year, our budget goes up to Rs 20 lakh but this year, it is just Rs 15 lakh, which may reduce further. Due to the demonetisation, around six companies sponsoring our fest are providing 50 per cent of the promised amount before the fest and 50 per cent after the fest. The demonetisation has also hit our number of participants. Although we have approached everyone to opt for Internet banking to pay for participation forms, the number of participants has dropped by 30 per cent,” said a member of Mood Indigo management team.

“This year we have mostly picked up online payments in the college festival, but there are some payments that we have to make through cash. For those, whenever our students get time they keep withdrawing cash from the bank,” said Falguni Banerjee, PRO of IIT Bombay, Powai.

Sponsors look to empty old notes
While students are working day and night to make their college fest successful, sponsors are looking it as an opportunity to wipe out their old currency. “When we heard about the demonetisation, the first thing we did was call all our sponsors and ensure about their promised amount. Some of our sponsors asked us to accept the payment in old currency instead of cheques. We’ve asked them to take their time but pay through cheque only,” said Seeri Scope, a student of Kishinchand Chelaram college, who is handling their upcoming college fest ‘Kiran’.

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