Kashmiri students face fund crunch: Bathinda varsity extends fee deadline, SGPC steps in to help with ration

KASHMIR : Guru Kashi University in Bathinda’s Talwandi Sabo on Monday decided to extend deadline to clear pending fee for over 50 students from Kashmir who have not been able to get in touch with their parents in Kashmir valley after the abolition of Article 370. With these students fast running out of money to meet their daily expenses, including paying for food, help has also started pouring in from institutions like the SGPC.

The SGPC has given Rs 10,000 with ration supplies to these students. This help from SGPC was extended through acting Jathedar of Akal Takht, who is also Jathedar Takht Damdama Sahib, Giani Harpreet Singh. Giani Harpreet Singh said, “Many students live in PGs in Talwandi Sabo and cook food themselves. They are facing shortage of funds.

Though they were reluctant, we gave them some ration items like rice, sugar, flour, pulses, masalas, detergent, soap, toothpaste etc. We are here to support them. SGPC has extended help to them and more help will also be done in the future if needed.”

There are around 600 students in the university. Few live in PGs at few others in hostels as well. Earlier, the Kashmiri students had complained that they were unable to make any contact with their parents due to which they were facing a fund crunch.  Nasir, a student, said, “I was dehydrated and was admitted to a private hospital for one night. I was charged Rs 6600 for treatment. I had no money and hence friends contributed money to pay the bill.”

Parvez, another student, said, “Though we are feeling safe here and getting public support while living in PGs. But only problem is that we are having funds shortage at the moment and our contact with parents is not that frequent.”

On Monday, Guru Kashi University authorities met Kashmiri students under the leadership of Dean, Academics, Dr Harjinder Singh Roj and Deputy Director, IT, Sunny Arora. Teachers in a press statement confirmed that more time had been given to the students to pay university fee as well as hostel fee. It was stated, “We had already extended the date of depositing the fee. Today, we have formed Jammu & Kashmir students and teachers welfare association in which students can come up with their grievances if any. Sunny Arora has been made the nodal officer for handling their complaints. A Whatsapp number has also given to students to register their complaints at this number and get them redressed soon.”

Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda, B Srinivasan said, “I spoke to the university authorities. As such there is no problem of funds and fees. They have already extended the timeline for fees. SDM Talwandi Sabo also visited the university and interacted with the students. If they need any help to get in touch with their families or any financial help, we will definitely do the needful from our side.”