BENGALURU: Repercussions of the assault on a Tanzanian girl earlier this year in the city, are now being faced by foreign students. Several international students are facing difficulties as housing allowances provided to them by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) have been kept pending for the past couple of months.
They complain that non-payment of the allowances has made it difficult for them to make ends meet and have demanded that the dues be paid immediately. Housing allowances are paid for students who do not wish to stay in college hostels.
ICCR officials, however, said that the government has taken a decision that students with ICCR scholarships should reside in college hostels to avoid incidents such as the one faced by a Tanzanian girl.
Express spoke to a few students availing scholarships from ICCR and studying at a college in the city.
According to a student from Kenya, about 42 students from their college have been affected. “Last year, they admitted us to the college which did not have a good hostel. So, after the completion of first year, we decided to stay out. But, ICCR is now declining to provide us with the allowance they had promised,” he said.
Another student from a neighbouring country, said that the non-payment of allowances had made it difficult for the students to find accommodation near the college. “Last year, three of us were crammed in a single room in the hostel. We don’t want to suffer such a condition anymore,” he said.
P Venugopal, Regional Director, Indian Council for Cultural Relations(ICCR), said that students have given a representation requesting the allowances. “We have asked them to give an undertaking that they prefer to stay outside and not in the hostels. Their requests are under consideration. A decision will be taken by the ICCR head office, soon,” he said.
Commenting on the issue, he said that if international students want to stay outside their hostels, they have to produce a letter from their respective embassies.
“ICCR is very concerned about the academic interests of the students,” he said, adding that the decision was taken by the Centre.