Seventeen-year old Manoj, who belongs to a tribal community in Salem, never gave up on his dream of becoming an engineer despite difficult financial conditions, and now wishes to become a metallurgical engineer to help his family and community.
Manoj has got an engineering seat in PSG College, Coimbatore in the Metallurgy department. However, his biggest struggle is how to pay the first-year fees of Rs. 1,50,000.
He lost his father when he was five years old, after which his mother Selvi and grandfather were the ones who ensured that Manoj went to school. â€śMy mother used to work as a labourer in forests, after which she got a job as a tailor in a garment shop. She goes to work at 6AM in the morning and comes back by 10PM at night and earns Rs 220 per day My grandfather also helps us. He works as a daily wage labourer at quarries,â€ť says Manoj.
In Class VI, Manoj appeared for an exam conducted by the district administration for 26 panchayat union schools and he came first in that exam with 747 marks out of 750. â€śFrom Class VI till Class XII, I was given free education by the collector,â€ť says Manoj.
He has obtained 442 out of 500 in Class X and 1031 out of 1200 in Class XII. â€śMy mother is the one who keeps encouraging me to study. She says that Iâ€™m her only child and she wants me to study hard and do well in life,â€ť says Manoj.
After Class XII, Manoj was hesitant about taking a college seat due to the difficult financial conditions at
home. â€śI wanted to do metallurgy from my young age because I can get job in any field if I do this course. It is there in only three colleges in India and I could not get into Salem Government College and I did not appear for IIT-JEE. So, I got admission in PSG college, which was my happiest moment in lifeâ€ť.
He is the first person from his community who has got an admission into a Bachelor in Engineering. â€śMost of the people from my community are drivers, and few of them are teachers. I want to study well and help my community. I will do whatever I can for them,â€ť says Manoj.
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