An initiative led by students of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has started a funding drive to fund the fees of current students, who hail from marginalised socio-economic backgrounds. The initiative, called Bridge, had started earlier this year on a pilot basis and has now launched a full fledged drive to collect approximately 60 lakh to pay the fees of around 230 students across all four campuses of the institute.
The institute already has a student aid scheme, which provides financial assistance to ensure that lack of funds does not hamper the academic future of students. Bridge is registered with the Office of Student Affairs and plans to raise funds for the student aid, which will be then use to pay for the fees of the students.
Degree at risk
The current batch of students will potentially risk the receipt of their marksheet and degree certificates if they do not pay their fees by May 31.
Sources said students and faculty members, in their individual capacities, were already trying to find ways to help those who are unable to pay their fees, but felt that the alumni needed to step in, especially under the current conditions.
The letter stated that due to the lockdown and the outbreak of COVID-19, the prospects of employability of current students is precarious and there are also instances of loss of family income for several students.
The letter said the target of 60 lakh corresponds to the annual deficit of the institutes student aid. It stated that with the fund raising drive it aims to collect an amount that is more than the deficit.
The amounts that are collected will be divided in a 60:40 ratio, while the former will be disbursed immediately, the latter will be used as a corpus for future batches. Until May 22, only 41,300 had been collected under the initiative.