In 2017, S Anitha killed herself after her dreams of becoming a doctor were crushed because she was unable to clear the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). A year later, her family has now built a library in her memory in Kuzhumur village in Ariyalur district. The library was unveiled on Saturday – the first anniversary of Anitha’s death.
The library has been built at a cost of Rs 45 lakh. It was inaugurated by the President of Dravidar Kazhagam K Veeramani and Thol Thirumavalavan, the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader. It was built using the money given to the family by various political parties and other organisations after her death and it has around 2,500 books in it, according to reports.
After the inauguration, K Veeramani said that Anitha had fought for an exemption from NEET until her last breath. A year since her death, her wish of freeing the students from NEET has not been fulfilled, he added. He also slammed the Union government, claiming they were not concerned with the difficulties faced by the students in rural areas and from marginalised sections of the society.
Thirumavalavan addressed the gathering and said that NEET has made marks unimportant and that it shattered the ambitions of many students who dream of pursuing MBBS.
Anitha was a Dalit girl, the daughter of a daily wage labourer, who scored extremely well in her 12th board exams. However, she failed to make the cut in NEET, and unable to take the disappointment over not getting a medical seat, she killed herself on September 1, 2017.
She had in fact impleaded herself into a petition challenging the applicability of NEET in Tamil Nadu in the Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court had on August 22 ordered the Tamil Nadu government to begin medical admissions based on NEET. The SC verdict came after the Centre refused to endorse Tamil Nadu’s draft ordinance seeking one-year exemption from NEET.
People in need of counselling can contact Tamil Nadu Health Department’s round-the-clock helpline – 104. Chennai-based Sneha suicide prevention centre can be contacted at 044-24640050.