18 May 2015 00:35 AM AEST: A Bachelor of Engineering student from Kathmandu is unable to return home to mourn the loss of his entire family because his college would not return his original certificates unless he paid up his entire course fees.
Prashant Risal, a second-semester student at AMC Engineering College on Bannerghatta Road in Bengaluru shared his painful story with reporters on Saturday.
The New Indian Express said Risal apparently could not contact his family for weeks following the April 25 earthquake but learned only days ago that his entire family had been ‘wiped out’ by the 7.8 magnitude temblor.
The distressed young man saw his principal on Friday to obtain his documents because the bereaved student wanted to return home but the principal asked him to pay Rs 360,000 which was the complete fee for the entire course he was undertaking.
“My Class 10 marks card and Migration Certificate are with the college. I took my Class 12 marks card a couple of weeks ago as I needed it to apply for a passport,” he told reporters on Saturday.
“Even after hearing about my tragedy, the college is not budging. They just want money,” New Indian Express quoted him as saying.
He told the media that the college has confiscated his mobile phone and even threatened to report him to the police.
It is understood he is the eldest of three children in his family and his father was a teacher and mother a homemaker.
The incident has revealed that some colleges seem to retain the original certificates of their students so that they do not leave the institution mid-course.
The Hindu said the principal of the college claimed there was a misunderstanding. ““He had recently taken the marks cards for passport verification. Four days ago, he again came to us citing passport verification. I asked for the original letter from the Nepal embassy. Moreover, migration certificate is given only by the university (VTU) … He can leave the college whenever he wants,” it quoted principal T.N. Srinivas as saying.
This article has been updated: 18 May 15 8:15 am AEST, 20 May 15 1.22 am AEST.