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IIT Kharagpur alumni help mess staff

Rs 20 lakh raised in two weeks
IIT Kharagpur had asked students to vacate the hostels, known as hall of residence, as the start of the academic session became uncertain because of the pandemic and assembly in hostels could pose a health hazard.

Subhankar Chowdhury   |   Kharagpur   |   Published 15.07.20, 02:30 AM

A group of IIT Kharagpur alumni have extended a helping hand to members of the Rajendra Prasad hostel mess staff and attendants at the cycle shed adjacent to the hostel during the pandemic.

The alumni who had graduated from the tech school between 1985 and 1995 and spent their student days in the RP hostel have raised a corpus of Rs 20 lakh in two weeks. The money has been transferred to 88 people who have been struggling to earn a livelihood ever since students started vacating the hostel from June 20.

IIT Kharagpur had asked students to vacate the hostels, known as hall of residence, as the start of the academic session became uncertain because of the pandemic and assembly in hostels could pose a health hazard.

Bhasker Majumder had graduated in 1989 and stayed at RP hall. The absence of students has dealt a blow to members of the mess staff as most of them are contractual workers, he said.

Majumder, who lives in London, said their student life would have remained incomplete without the service of members of the mess staff and attendants at the cycle shed.

“As we stayed away from home, they took care of us in those four years. Had the cycle attendant not repaired the puncture on time, we would have missed the morning classes. So, once my batchmates got to know of their plight, they started the drive,” Majumder said.

As the news spread, his senior Anjan Ghosal messaged him, asking what the former residents of RP Hall, named after former President Babu Rajendra Prasad, were doing for the mess workers during this time of crisis and this led to the launch of the movement.

Within a fortnight more than 130 alumni across five continents communicated over WhatsApp and email to raise the money. The money was transferred to the bank accounts of the 88 people on Tuesday.

Each of them received Rs 21,000.

An alumnus said: “This is how I wanted to reminisce days at the hall of residence and adda at the night canteens and the faces who served that cup of tea and bread.”

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Online classes

IIT Kharagpur will hold online classes from the end of August for the autumn semester as physical assembly is not possible during the pandemic, dean of students’ affairs Somesh Kumar said on Tuesday. Kumar mailed parents of students on

Tuesday, alerting them of the decision. He asking them to pay the mess fees and to renew student insurance scheme.



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