Two Dalit students earn medical seats, but are struggling to pay fees
Ramanathapuram: Two Dalit students, who were part of the 30 “Elite Students” hailing from poor families and groomed by the district administration with special coaching, have entered the corridors of the prestigious Stanley Medical College and Madurai Medical College this year, but are struggling to pay the fees.
For the two single parent students – P. Manikandan of Tirupalaikudi, and M. Krishnaveni of Ponnaiyapuram, Paramakudi – securing a medical seat appeared to be easier than paying the fees.
Krishnaveni’s father had left the family when she was hardly eight years old and her mother, a construction worker, fought all odds to bring up her son, a Computer Science graduate, and her daughter. Krishnaveni got into Madurai Medical College with a cut-off of 194.75 but struggled to mobilise about Rs. 30,000 to pay the tuition and hostel fees.
“My mother borrowed a gold chain from our neighbour and pledged it to raise the money,” she said talking to The Hindu at Municipal Girls’ Higher Secondary School here on Saturday. Her teachers were helping her get scholarship and financial assistance from some philanthropists.
Manikandan who had scored a cut-off of 196.25, secured the 67th rank among Scheduled Caste students in the State and got admission in Stanley Medical College. Both his father and brother were engaged in fishing.
He had paid the tuition fees of Rs. 6,400 and bought time to pay the hostel fees of Rs. 25,000. “My father borrowed money to pay the fees and my teacher assured to secure some financial assistance from a Coimbatore-based foundation for the hostel fees,” he said.
His mother died of cancer when he was studying Class XI and he wanted to specialise in oncology and serve the poor.
Besides, P. Thangavel, a girl from the backward class and whose father was an illiterate, has secured admission in Venkateswara Medical College to pursue Physician Assistant course, S. Navaneethakrishnan, coordinator for the “Elite Class” said.
Agaram Foundation has offered to fund her education, he said.
Another boy R. Thennarasu got admission in Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) and the college offered to sponsor his education under the ‘Support The Advancement of Rural Students Scheme.’
Similarly SRM University offered to sponsor the education of S. Muthuselvi, who got a cut-off of 194.75, he said.