Mumbai: Youngsters worried as exams likely to be cancelled, careers jeopardised, travel postponed
BL Soni

Mumbai: Amidst the outbreak of the coronavirus, youngsters are worried about tcancellation of final exams, admissions secured in international universities and pre-booked travel more than the disease itself.

Students studying Undergraduate (UG) programme in degree colleges claim they fear their careers will be jeopardised if exams are cancelled. Vishwajeet Chandra, a student pursuing Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) course, said, “My final semester exams are scheduled to begin from March 23. And now, just ten days before, universities and colleges are mulling cancellation of exams.” While Shivani Sethi, another student of Arts, said, “No one is giving us a confirmed date for conducting exams later as nobody is sure how long this outbreak will last.”

Some students revealed they are in a fix as they have already secured admissions in international universities to study abroad with their academic year starting from September. Giselle Rasquinha, a student who has secured admission in a university in Paris, said, “I worked day and night to gain an admission offer from this university for my master programme. Now, the university is keeping all admissions on hold. They have not cancelled admissions yet but I do not know what to do.”

Maitrik Chatterjee, a student who has secured admission for an engineering course in Germany, said, “I am among the few from India who have been selected for this programme. I have also gathered the necessary funds for my higher education by taking a student loan. I do not want to lose this opportunity. I hope the situation settles down and there is an end to the spread of this disease.”

Some of the working youth addressed concerns on international volunteering, travel and visit plans which have to be either cancelled or changed last minute. Shamsad Akbar, a social worker, said, “I wanted to visit China and volunteer for the education system there by teaching basic English to children from underprivileged backgrounds. I had also applied for a visa but now I will have to cancel my volunteering plan.”

Young travel bloggers and those working in the travel industry revealed the spread of the COVID-19 has severely affected their businesses. Alaric Fernandes, a working youth in Dubai, said, “I moved to Dubai from Mumbai just two months before as I got a job in the travel industry. But now, our business is facing losses as people are not travelling.” While, Anjan Chawla, a travel blogger said, ‘“I earn my bread and butter by travelling and reviewing places. But countries are not issuing visas. Those who work in offices can work from home but how are we supposed to earn our living if we are not allowed to travel?”

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