A local Ganesha Mandal from Mahatma Phule Market area here has decided to offer daily meal to students from drought-hit areas at a marginal price of Rs 10.
The Akhil Mandai Mandal,which has been running Zunka-Bhakar centre for more than three decades for the needy,will render the service at its centre. Students from drought-affected areas studying in city colleges need to show their college identity cards to avail the facility.
Hundreds of students are currently studying in Pune who are from drought-hit areas of the state. These students are facing financial difficulties as their parents are bearing the brunt of drought and cannot send money to their wards regularly. Our aim is to help these students and encourage their families, said Mandal president Anna Thorat.
He said the Zunka-Bhakar centre was set up by the mandal around four decades ago under the guidance of the late Appasaheb Thorate. Since its formation in 1974,our centre has been feeding the poor, he said.
Vaijnath Katkar,a local student from Osmanabad district,lauded the initiative to offer meal to students like him at a marginal price. My father is a sugar-mill worker. The overall economy of our region is in doldrums due to scanty rainfall this year,and he is not able to send me sufficient money on monthly basis, he said.
In the wake of drought situation in several parts of Maharashtra,the state government has already decided to waive the exam fees of students from the 7,064 drought-hit villages in the state,where final Paisewari is less than 50 paise. Paisewari,which means value of the crop,is used as a criterion for gauging drought situation in Maharashtra.
More than 28,750 students from different colleges situated in drought-hit areas and affiliated to the University of Pune will be benefited from the government decision.