August 8, 2019
An 18-year-old girl from the Inba Irular tribal community from Kaliyur village near Velliyankandu in Coimbatore district has joined the MTech course at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Tiruchi after passing the Joint Entrance Exams (JEE) this year.
M Sabitha, is the first in her village to get into this course. Her father is a daily wage worker and mother a housewife. Sabitha’s two elder sisters are also studying engineering and her younger brother is in Plus One. Her only worry is finding fund to pay her fees.
“I have did all my schooling in government schools in Velliayankadu and scored good marks in board exams. As my sisters are doing engineering, I always wanted to be a doctor, but I could not pass the NEET qualifying exams. Then my teachers advised JEE and asked me to try it. I had only a day to prepare for the exams but passed with 63 per cent and got admission in NIT Tiruchi. We have somehow managed to pay the first and second year fees here,” Sabitha told The Covai Post.
She added that she had got some donations earlier and a government-sponsored student exchange programme to Japan in her Plus One days. Besides this her relatives and teachers and their friends had also donated. Her fees works out to Rs 30,000 annually, besides that for hostel fees, making the total to Rs.40,000 every semester.
“When I reach third year, my brother will also be in college and my parents won’t be able to afford our fees. We hope some kind people will see our plight and donate generously as our family is among the first graduates of our community in Kaliyur,” said Sabitha.
Other than that, Sabitha (18) is enjoying college where classes will start in August. “We are having an orientation programme now. When my classmates ask me about my school and college I feel shy but they are very friendly.” She concluded.
Irulas are an ethnic Dravidian group of tribespeople living mostly in the hilly regions of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. They are barely 25,000 in number.