Farmers reeling under drought-like situation in Maharashtra can stop worrying about paying hostel fees for their children studying in big cities. Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is working on collecting the data of hostel students belonging to 10 districts in Maharashtra currently reeling under water scarcity and draught-like situation since the past six months.
According to a senior leader, the party plans to pay the hostel fees of students from areas reeling under drought as a relief to their parents who are already facing many monetary issues.
According to preliminary reports, the number of students from scarcity-hit districts like Satara, Sangli, Solapur, Aurangabad, Jalna, Beed, Osmanabad, Nanded, Nashik and Pune who have been pursuing their higher studies in cities like Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, Kolhapur and Nagpur ranges between 50,000 to 75,000. Collectively, their hostel fees amounts to Rs 5 crore to Rs 6 crore, the leader added.
While the State Government has decided to waive their exam fee, as is the rule during times of drought, the hostel fee still remains a big problem. If it is not paid then these students will find it tough to continue their education and might lose an academic year.
“The final decision is yet to be taken in this regard,” said party spokesman Nawab Malik. “However, the NCP is committed to offer relief to people from the scarcity-hit areas.” The party’s students’ wing chief Nilesh Raut confirmed that the details were being collected but said that the final decision will be taken by the senior leaders only. According to sources, NCP was also thinking of providing financial relief through a trust floated by party leaders.
As per data released by the State Government, as many as 4,864 hamlets from these 10 districts are being supplied water in tankers. Big cities in these districts are also dependent on water tankers. Crop yields from 3,905 villages have been badly affected and the State Government has diverted huge funds to help people living in those areas.
The number of scarcity-hit villages in Maharashtra