The appeal of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jadavpur, Suranjan Das, for funds to purchase devices and data packs to bridge the digital divide between students has so far received a poor response.
University officials attributed this to the Covid-induced financial distress regular donors go through during the second wave of the pandemic.
On April 13, Das called on “members of the broader university community” to “make a generous donation” to enable the university to bridge the digital divide that affects a large portion of students at a time when classes are underway. on digital platforms as a precaution against Covid.
Until May 3, only Rs 80,500 has been collected – a much lower amount than was collected in a similar campaign last August.
When Das first called for a fundraiser on August 20 for a similar mission, around 12 lakh of rupees was raised in three weeks, said a university official who was part of a panel overseeing the countryside.
The official said The telegraph Monday that so far, they had received 15 calls from university employees for a deduction from their wages, resulting in a contribution totaling around Rs 60,000.
“We have direct deposits into the JU bank accounts of former students and benevolent people for a total of Rs 20,500. Compared to last year, the corpus does not look impressive,” he said. he declares.
Last year, JU had succeeded in building up a corpus of more than Rs 21 lakh in one month. The money was used to buy smartphones and data packs for students.
“We don’t see that happening this year,” the official said.
A former student who had made a substantial contribution last year said fear of a medical emergency prevented him from embarking on this period. “The situation has worsened from what it was last year. We are all more concerned with saving as much as possible in case the fear of health hits us. This prevents us from making a new contribution, ”he said.
A former JU who taught at the university for 36 years donated Rs 5 lakh in September last year. But this year, the university has yet to receive such generous contributions.
“So far, the contribution has not been up to par. I guess everyone is going through financial distress in the midst of the pandemic. This must also be appreciated, ”said Das.
A university teacher who participated in the fundraiser last year said this time he was reluctant to approach people for donations because financial constraints had hit everyone.
“Last year, I had personally contacted many of my colleagues who work in management positions in companies for contributions. They answered my calls. If the situation had improved or remained stable, I would have thought of approaching them again. But many of them fear a pay cut or job loss, ”the teacher said.