Do you have a genuine student ID card?

KATHMANDU: Please show your original student identification card for discount. Don’t humiliate yourself in public with a fake student identification card’ — is a notice seen in most of the public vehicles in Kathmandu. On showing one’s student ID card, a student gets 45 per cent discount in public vehicles — buses and micro buses. They can also use the cards for various other purposes. Though introduced for the benefit of students, there are other people (other than students) who are shameless enough to make fake cards and avail of the discounts as well.

A privilege only for students

The students get 45 per cent discount on transportation fare with their ID card of their colleges/schools. And Bimala Giri, BA Ist Year student at Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus, Pradarshani Marg mostly uses her “student ID card in local vehicles for discount”. However, the card does not help get discount while travelling outside Kathmandu, she says.

Other than discount in public vehicles, Netra Prasad Mainali, MA IInd Year student at Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus, finds student ID card beneficial even if “you don’t have your citizenship card. You can open a bank account using your ID card. Sometimes if you forget to bring your entrance card to the examination centre, your student ID card also works.”

Misuse and humiliation

But at times those who are not genuine students also possess student ID cards and they use it to get discount in local vehicles. As such there are times that a genuine student is denied discount just because their identity card might have expired a day or two ago. During such a time, the vehicle conductors humiliate the students.

Gaurab Ranabhat, studying in Class XII at Xavier International College, Kalopul expresses, “These days everybody has an student ID card as one can get genuine-looking ID card at any photocopy shop. And many times such fake card holders manage to cheat the bus conductors and get discount. And the genuine students are harassed by them.”

Giri, who was on a break after completing her +2 and before joining Bachelor’s, didn’t have an student identity card — her older card had expired.

However to get the discount in local vehicles, she made a fake card with the help of her friends. And she managed to get the discounts easily using this ID card. But why did she do such a thing?

“I did not have a choice. I am a student and not employed. It is some sort of relief for me if I manage to get a discount on transportation fare. Therefore, I made a fake student ID card.”

Though she was “hesitant to use the card in the beginning, the men/women (who are not students) showing the fake ID cards gave me the courage to use it”.

And the conductors’ treatment — “who harass the passengers if they are short of Rs 1 or Rs 2 but are unwilling to return change to passengers also gave me the confidence to use fake student ID card”.

But, Lecturer at Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus feels, “Using fake student identity card is a shameful activity and is counted as criminal activity. It is an indication that there are no rules and regulation in Nepal. This is also showing that our society is being irresponsible in such cases.”

The way out

Every problem has a solution and about this Ranabhat opines, “The student ID card should be to prevent people from extending the validity date of ID card by themselves. Meanwhile colleges should have a provision of cards for students who have a gap of a year or months before joining a new level.”

“If there is a proper system in distributing student identity cards, one cannot misuse it,” says Mainali who is confident that “if every college uses hologram stickers in such cards, there is less chance of its misuse”.

He adds, “A middle-aged person can be a student but there is a high chance for that person to be employed as well. So the perks should be given to students according to age. And for this the nation should increase the employment opportunities for the educated youth.”

According to Adhikari, there are some 15 to 17 per cent people who are misusing the student identity cards. And if only the people acknowledge their responsibility towards society, the misuse can be controlled.