More than 75 students, who are pursuing their higher education in various universities in foreign country, are facing embarrassment as government of India is delaying the release of the scholarship funds. All the 75 students are from backward classes and were selected for masters and PhD programs in the foreign universities under the ‘Rajarshi Shahu overseas scholarshipʼ, which was offered on the occasion of 125th birthday of Dr BR Ambedkar.
These students are facing problems in affording the accommodations and even in affording proper meals.
These students are currently waiting for the state government to release the scholarship funds so that their education is not affected. These students are claiming that the funds have not been released by the government, which they should have released by February. Unable to pay the tuition fees to the universities these students are now planning to write the chief minister of Maharashtra.
One such student is Milind Datta Ahiwale, who is studying MSc finance at the University of Southampton.“We have written to the officials of the Social Welfare department over 20 times in last three months. However, all we have received is vague replies. Even our universities have been writing to the department, but they received no reply,” said Milind.
Another student from the University of Manchester said "We have completed one semester and submitted the enrolment letter at the university along with our marks in written exam conducted by the university. However, the funds have been delayed and there is no correspondence from the university. We are borrowing money from friends and relatives to sustain. While our universities are letting us continue our courses without us paying the fees, there are a few Indian families in Southhall and Glasgow who are helping us with accommodation but their places are far from our universities."
Students also told that their parents are now borrowing the money against gold from private lenders to provide them with the money.
On the other hand, officials from the Social Welfare department blamed the students for the delay in the funds. "These students have to follow up with their respective universities to submit their attendance and academic progress report along with utilization of funds disbursed before the first semester. Many of these students failed to send these documents on time and hence the delay. We are following up the matter and it will be resolved soon,” said Vijaya Pawar, joint commissioner (education section) of the Social Welfare department".