Demonetisation: Funds hard to come by, Mumbai college fests may lose some sheen

Many colleges in the city hold their annual fests between November and February, and the student organisers depend heavily on sponsorships.

Written by Dipti Singh | Mumbai | Published:November 26, 2016 1:13 am

The demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes is set to hit annual cultural festivals of colleges in Mumbai. Students said the fests this year would be low-key affairs, as sponsorships have dried up after the notes ban. Many colleges in the city hold their annual fests between November and February, and the student organisers depend heavily on sponsorships. The first to face trouble due to demonetisation is Mithibai college’s annual festival Collosium. According to the organising team of Collosium, four of the nine confirmed sponsors backed out as soon as the demonetisation news spread.

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“On November 8, when the demonetisation announcement was aired on news channels, my college-mates and I felt it was a very good decision and would benefit the country. However, it was a few days later that we realised the effects of the decision. Last year, we managed to get sponsorships worth over Rs 19 lakh. This year, we have raised hardly Rs10 lakh to Rs 11 lakh,” said Soumil Kulkarni, student of Mithibai college and organising chairman of Collosium.

“However, we still feel the fest is not very badly hit, as we secured good participation from colleges all over the city,” Kulkarni added.

Students of South Indian Education Society (SIES) Nerul, too are facing hardships in gathering sponsorships this year. The college’s annual cultural festival is scheduled to be held in mid-January 2017.

“Many sponsors who have been funding us for years are unwilling this time. There were a few who came ahead to sponsor our fest, but offered us the scrapped currency notes,” said a student organiser of SIES college.

Some colleges, however, claimed the demonetisation has not affected them at all. A A press clarification issued by the public relations office of IIT Bombay, which hosts the popular cultural festival Mood Indigo, stated: “Mood Indigo is not affected due to the demonetisation as the sponsors always pay by cheques and have no objection doing the same this year too.”