Beating last year's figures, 190 students from the state-aided Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) — those belonging to extremely underprivileged communities — have cleared the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test 2020. Last year, a total of 108 students from TSWREIS had done so.
Among these 190 students, 142 of them belong to Telangana social welfare schools and the other 48 belong to Telangana tribal welfare schools. A few of these students are likely to get seats in the esteemed All India Institute of Medical Sciences. These students from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes come from underprivileged backgrounds, with their parents engaged in farming, selling tea, rolling beedis, selling vegetables, working as mechanic, masons, security guards etc.
Dejavath Girija, who secured an All India rank of 85 in the ST category by securing 595 marks, says, “It was my dream to be a doctor. I am happy about inching closer to my dream.” Girija is a native of Wanaparthy and her parents are engaged in farming. She is the first generation from her family to go to college. Girija has decided that she will either choose a specialisation in cardiology or oncology. She says that the daily coaching offered by her school helped her in achieving the rank.
“Every day, there would be a test covering the entire syllabus, so that helped,” she says. Along with Girija, other students who secured All India ranks include: G Abhilash (168 rank in SC category), K Vamshidhar (1233 rank in SC category) and Y Poojitha (1969 rank in SC category).
A joyous Ramesh, Abhilash's father, says, “My son was infected with coronavirus days before the exam, but he overcame the disease and excelled. I am very happy with his success. He is the first medical student in our family.”
These 190 students were part of an exclusive programme funded by the Telangana government. While Operation Blue Crystal offered coaching for merit students from the Scheduled Castes, Operation Emerald offered free coaching for students from the Scheduled Tribes.
“The truth is that I could not have afforded coaching in a private institution, considering my vulnerable family background, and my dream would have been shattered if not for the free Operation Blue Crystal long-term NEET coaching programme,” Abhilash was quoted as saying in a press release. These programmes were started in the year 2015.
Secretary of TSWREIS, RS Praveen Kumar, thanked the Telangana government, and said, “In the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh state, less than five students used to secure seats in medical colleges every year. But today, thanks to the support of Minister for Social Welfare Koppula Eeshwar and Minister for Tribal Welfare Sathyavathi Rathod, we could send 108 SC/ST students to medical colleges last year and this year, 190 students are likely to secure medical seats. Operation Blue Crystal Programme for SC students and Operation Emerald for ST students were launched in 2015 to provide top-class NEET coaching to meritorious students free of cost. These two programmes have become a boon to marginalised students.”