M A I N   N E W S

Foreign dreams of Punjab students take a beating
Varinder Singh/TNS

Jalandhar, May 17
The recent slide in the value of rupee vis a vis dollar has virtually dashed the hopes of hundreds of students from Punjab as their parents are now finding it difficult to meet the expenses of sending them abroad for studies.

Adversely hit by the rupee slide and the consequent spurt in the cost of studies and living abroad, harried parents of many students have decided to shelve their plans of sending their wards abroad, at least for the time being.

More than 10,000 students, according to a conservative estimate of immigration consultants, leave Punjab every year and head for foreign shores to study in universities and colleges there and to work for realisation of their dreams of greener pastures.

Most of these students come from the “foreign-struck” Doaba region of the state.

“We have been planning to send our son to New Zealand for years and were saving money to convert the family dream into reality. I had even prepared myself to somehow arrange and spend Rs 10 lakh on his tuition fee and living expenses a month ago. But, the rupee devaluation has shattered our dreams. As I was told that now the one-year tuition fee plus living expenses would cost me somewhere around Rs 11.5 lakh, I was forced to shelve my plan to send Munish to New Zealand. I cannot meet the escalated expenses,” said Raj Kumar, an Adampur-based shopkeeper.

In some cases, the parents of such students see no other option but to sell their land and ornaments to meet the escalated costs of sending their wards abroad.

“The parents of my client and Hoshiarpur-based student Harpreet Singh had to sell their ornaments to send him to New Zealand just recently as they could not arrange for the tuition fee difference of Rs 1 lakh effected within a short period of past about one month. Students and their parents are getting discouraged and restless due to higher dollar price,” said Meena Prashar, an Adampur (Doaba)-based immigration consultant and owner of Gulmohar Academy.

She said the tuition fee of Canadian universities has gone up from around Rs 3 lakh to Rs 3.45 lakh within the past one month due to devaluation of Indian rupee.

On the other hand, Diamond Sodhi, managing director of the Jalandhar-based immigration consultancy firm Caan Wings, said the rupee devaluation could even encourage people to go abroad.

“Anyone who, has to go has to go even if they have to pay some extra cost. Earlier, people were startled by the “India Shining” factor as far as economy was concerned, but now their view is set to change. So, more and more people are expected to head for foreign shores,” said Diamond Sodhi.





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