Price hike:Pinches students' pockets too



KATHMANDU: As students, living in Kathmandu is not an easy task. You don’t have a job but at the same time you have to bear a number of expenses from travelling to college fees to going on a date to having get-togethers with friends. Perhaps for the majority of you, your parents are the sole source to fund all your expenses. You might be managing your pocket money with difficulty as there is price hike in everything — from bus fare to house rent to cooking gas to other things required in your daily life. For most students price hike is really a pain.

Daily woes

Students must depend upon their family or parents to fulfil their needs. As such students can’t remain unaffected by the price hike that affects their parents. 

Bijaya Ram Giri, a BSc Ist Year student at Tri-Chandra Multiple Campus (TC) says, “When there is a price hike, our parents are forced to manage the household expenses with their limited salary. Due to this the pocket money we get from them is also affected as they reduce the amount they used to give us earlier citing price hike as reason.”

Giri, who needs to travel three times a day by vehicles adds, “When the price of petroleum products increases, there is increase in transportation fare in the same proportion and students become the victims.”

For Shreya Maskey, pursuing BBA IVth Year at the Nepal College of Management, rather than her primary needs, her secondary needs are affected when there is a price hike. “It becomes difficult to fulfil our secondary needs. Due to the price hike we won’t be able to afford a taxi and while working as an intern, our expenses increase say for travelling, clothes, et cetera,” she says.

The situation is even worse for students who are staying in Capital away from their home and parents. About the difficulty, Dhawa Lama, a BBS IIIrd Year student at Bageshowri College says, “I sometimes have slept hungry or even eating just one meal a day as I was not able to buy more. And I felt awkward to ask money from parents time and again.”

Bishistha Bhattarai, lecturer and Master’s programme co-ordinator of Rural Development at TC shares, “Usually the admission rate of students is higher in the first year, but their number gradually decreases as there are more dropouts in the higher level.” And he feels that price hike is one of the main reasons for students of the government college not completing their education as they need to fulfil their responsibilities towards their family.

Fighting for the right

Discount on transportation fare provides relief to students to some extent but students complain of ill-treatment by the conductors.

Bhuwanaswari Duwal, a student of MA IInd Year at Padma Kanya Multiple Campus states, “The conductors give discount as per their wish and we are ill-treated every time when we show them our student identity cards. We have to fight with them to get our rights every time.” 

Agreeing with her, Sabina Giri, a BA Ist Year student at Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Memorial College shares, “Even though we show our student’s identity card we have to quarrel to get the discount. It is difficult for us to manage the expenses of canteen and travel with our pocket money.”

Managing the problem

While students complain about the problems, Kumar Thapa, Assistant Programme Director of Ace Institute of Management suggests, “The students must realise the way they are spending their pocket money. They tend to enjoy to the fullest in the first few weeks of the month whereas they suffer in the last few weeks.”

To this Thapa opines, “Students usually spend money on unnecessary things like soft drinks, visiting new food outlets, get-togethers and more. By reducing such expenses, they can solve their problem.”

Meanwhile Bijaya Ram finds solution in government authorised bodies and argues, “Black marketing of things must be checked and the guilty should be punished. Also the price of petroleum products should be managed according to that in the international market.”

According to Bhattarai, decentralisation and long-term vision for country’s economic growth and activities that help students to gain some expenses should be launched.

Likewise, Duwal suggests, “Saving from the pocket money can also help in the time of need.”

LPG subsidy for college students

The government is in the process to implement distribution of LPG subsidy cards to college students from Plus Two to Masters level, who are below 26 years of age. Most of the students and teachers find this a positive aspect while a few think it’s unnecessary for students.

Thapa opines, “Cooking gas comes under basic needs and I think the subsidy for cooking gas should not be given as per the student. Instead it must be given according to the economical and geographical situation of the citizen. Moreover, students of private institutions might also not know about this kind of proposal.”

Meanwhile Maskey is not aware of the proposal but expresses, “It is better to give subsidy to needy persons than to students.”

Moreover Bhattarai shares, “The government should focus on alternative ways like educational loan and opportunity which can help students get higher education.”

However, Duwal, Sabina and Lama regard the subsidy as a positive step taken by the government for the students.

(Source: The Himalayantimes)