City youth raise toast to their friendships, hit at telecom companies for special SMS charges

Both young and old in the city raised a toast to their friendships on Friendship Day on Sunday. The residents preferred to wish each other either through SMS or the social networking sites.

But many city youth were angry with major telecom companies.

Reason: SMS-frenzy teenagers and college students criticized telecom companies for charging more for an SMS on this day.

The students, however, showed their protest against the telecom companies by circulating derogatory SMSes on Friendship Day eve.

One such SMS, read, 'Wishing u a Happy Friendship Day in advance, because tomorrow the greatest beggars of the world will beg for Re 1 and let's not pay such rich beggars. It is better to pay to a beggar who really needs it. So come and join this noble cause of removing beggary from our country.'

"This is absolute cheating. Since we have subscribed to SMS packages, there should not be any special charges on such occasions," fumed Rekha Jindal, a college student.

Another student, Shekhar Mehra, said, "Occasions are the only days when we wish so many people and send messages to our dear ones. If we have to pay for them, then what is the use of such message packages? They are useless when on days like Diwali, Valentine's Day, New Year we are charged for each and every SMS."

Pointing towards some of the orthodox politicians, Sonali Mahendru, a hospitality student, said, "On one hand some politicians believe that these Westernised cultured occasions like Friendship Day, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day are not a part of our culture and they are playing a major part in ruining our culture and young minds. Then why don't they ask these telecom companies to stop giving these Western days, a status of 'special day' in India? Why to charge for the SMS on the day which is not an official festival or occasion of the country?"

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