IIT Kanpur students raised over INR 64 lakh for workers on campus

Samrat Roy Samrat Roy
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IIT Kanpur students raised over INR 64 lakh for workers on campus

In a first, Indian Institute of Technology ( IIT) Kanpur students decided by June 16 to direct funds allocated for various amenities for themselves and raise donations to pay 250 workers on campus including support staff, hostel staff, and canteen staff. Now, they plan to raise funds for 700 workers

As IIT Kanpur campus has been shut down for more than three months due to the ongoing lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, some of the institute's support staff have not been paid salaries. The Gymkhana students raised a total of INR 64.47 lakh using a mix of monies from three different student and donation funds.

Gymkhana the students contributed a sum of INR 1.5 lakh from the funds allocated to the hostel amenities while INR 5 lakh was donated from Dean 's capital fund. INR 28 lakh contributed by the hall executive committee, which consists of wardens and representatives of the students. To this has been added INR 30 lakh, collected in a donation drive recently conducted by the institute, to help the workers.

The initiative was proposed by the Hostel Affairs Council of Students or CoSHA, a student body that oversees and coordinates student matters and opinions related to hostel administration;

"The motivation behind the proposal was that during these uncertain times, our dhobi bhaiyas, canteen bhaiyas, mess workers and other hall workers who were an integral part of our lives were in dire need of money as they did not receive their salaries," Nikunj Kothari, president of the Gymkhana students, wrote in an email to the student community on June 16, 2020 "We sincerely hope this initiative will make a difference in the lives of those who were an integral part of our everyday lives."

The drive was carried out in two rounds during the ongoing lockdown to provide relief to the workers facing a financial crisis.

About INR 17.50 lakh was disbursed among the workers in the first installment with each worker receiving around INR 7,000. Around 250 workers benefited, including on-campus canteen workers and other shop workers

The students are planning to provide financial support to 700 more workers in the second installment.

Around INR 46.97 lakh financial support will be provided to workers each receiving a sum of INR 6,600.

Kothari also thanked the dean, the affairs of the students, the dean of administration, alumni, associate dean, hall affairs, the Wardens and their respective offices who supported the initiative.