Besides resulting in thousands of casualties and infecting millions more, the pandemic has caused a lot of economic confusion at various levels – the globe, the nation, and our institute. This has led to a lot of questions being raised, ranging from the extent of fee refunds to the salaries of people working on campus. Most of these queries were resolved in the Director’s recent mail, sent on the night of May 26th. According to the mail, most of the hostel and mess fee would be refunded, except for a fixed amount, which will go to salaries of mess workers, security, and housekeeping. But there was no mention whatsoever for people working at stalls and canteens.
Since the stall workers aren’t directly employed by IIIT, unlike the mess workers, and housekeeping, they are not directly covered in the support provided by the Institute to all the employees. The stall owners are normally required to pay rent to the institute on a monthly basis. According to a directive by the Government of India which was put out on March 29th, the institute is legally bound to not levy rents from the stalls and canteens on campus.
In order to get a clearer picture of the measures that have been taken for the stall workers, we contacted the Stall Committee and other representatives for information.
Upon contacting the Stall Comm, we were informed that the stall rent has indeed been waived off, with effect from March 15 (prior to the directive) till the end of the lockdown. Besides relaxing the rent, the institute has also committed to paying out a token amount to all stall workers, which, as per a representative from the Mess Committee, is estimated to be Rs. 8,000 per worker. Most of the funds have come through donations from various staff, faculty, students and alumni. The institute has mobilised these funds and distributed them to the stall workers via a third party. In the first round of payments this month, which was supposed to be disbursed on May 18th, over 25 stall workers were given an amount totalling to Rs. 2,08,000/-.
Those who wish to contribute to the IIIT-H COVID Relief Fund can do so by filling this form.