Outstation students stuck in Mumbai University hostels seek financial aid
Even though the university mess continues to function, students still have to spend on food and other daily essential items
With more than a month since the lockdown began, a few students from outstation are still stuck in Mumbai University's (MU) hostels. A majority of them managed to head home, but there still are about 20-23 students in the Churchgate and Kalina hostels.
Though their mess provides them with meals, the students still pay for food and need other daily essential items. None of them have any money left and no assurance from home as many come from farmers' families who are already facing a loss due to lockdown.
So these students have requested the varsity to provide them financial aid. "Money is very important when you are staying away from home. Every day each student ends up paying a little over R120 for all three meals at the mess. The university has issued orders that the mess should not charge us, but we know that if we don't pay, the canteen service provider won't be able to buy items," a student at the Churchgate hostel said.
Another student from the Kalina hostel said, "The university has asked the food contractor to not charge but that is not practically possible until they have been provided with groceries etc. If the varsity provides us financial aid, we will be able to ensure our other needs such as soaps, toothpaste etc. are met."
Rohit Dhale from Chatrabharati, who has written a letter to the varsity over the issue, said, "Most of these students are from families which are not financially stable. The students are few and if the varsity decides to help them it won't be a huge amount." MU registrar Ajay Deshmukh said, "We have already ensured that the mess continues to function so that these students do not have a problem with food. We have asked the mess contractor to not make charges mandatory during such difficult times. We have received the letter and it will be discussed with the Vice-Chancellor to decide what can be done."
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