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Presidency University Students’ Union to spend Rs 5 lakh for welfare activities

The amount which was set aside for fest and freshers’ welcome will now be used to offer scholarship to its underprivileged students and treat Covid-affected children
Presidency University.
Presidency University.
File photo

Subhankar Chowdhury   |   Calcutta   |   Published 02.06.21, 01:52 AM

Funds earmarked for students’ activities like fest and freshers’ welcome at Presidency University will be used to provide resources to a healthcare unit treating Covid-affected children.

Presidency University Students’ Union, which will spend the money on the treatment, will also offer scholarships to underprivileged students of the university.

Of the Rs 7.05 lakh in its kitty, the union will spend Rs 5 lakh on the welfare activities.

An official of the university said the decision in this regard was taken last week at a meeting of the students’ welfare board. The meeting was attended by the university’s dean of students, Arun Kumar Maity, among others.

Another official of the university said that after receiving the proposal from the students’ union, they held talks with the Institute of Child Health (ICH) in Park Circus. Forty per cent of the corpus (Rs 3 lakh) will be transferred to the institute.

Deeprajit Debnath, an assistant general secretary of the students’ union, said “it was the call of the hour that we dedicate resources” to help those facing challenges.

“Events like fests, freshers’ welcome can wait. Even if the campus reopens, we don’t want to spend money on these celebrations. The funds will be transferred to the Institute of Child Health, which is setting up more beds for children who are becoming more vulnerable to the disease.”

Paediatrician Apurba Ghosh, the director of the institute, said “cases of children getting infected with Covid are being reported during the second wave”. “We have 30 beds in the Covid ward. To add beds we need funds. The gesture of the students is laudable. We hope this will inspire many others to come forward.”

A member of the students’ union said they would give scholarships to students of Presidency based on their family income. He said many students were encountering financial constraints following salary cuts or job loss.

“Many of our students are from districts. Some of them have been facing extreme financial hardships over the past 15 months. Since we have limited funds, we will give scholarships to those who are among the worst sufferers,” he said.

The students’ activity fund is created with contributions that students make at the time of admission.

The students’ union has appealed to the university to refund the semester fees to students facing financial constraints.

A student has to apply with a proper income certificate and other valid documents to seek a waiver. “If approved, the fees will be refunded to the bank account of a student,” a university official said.

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