Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam was the only party genuinely interested in the welfare of the youth, party treasurer M.K. Stalin said in Coimbatore on Sunday.

Addressing students at a function organised by the DMK Youth Wing Trust to distribute prizes to State rank holders in the 2014 Class X and Plus-Two examinations, he said the party when it was in power had implemented very many schemes for the welfare of students. When not in power too, the party, through its sister organisations, had encouraged students. The distribution of prizes to rank holders was one such.

The party when it was in power was the first to issue orders for free education of girl students, it had brought in the single window system for admission to professional courses, introduced special schemes for first graduates in a family to pursue higher education and introduced the 15 per cent reservation for rural students in higher education.

It was the DMK that introduced the fee waiver in higher education courses for State rank holders, he pointed out.

Mr. Stalin said that the students should not construe the DMK Youth Wing Trust’s initiative as a political move. The distribution of prizes was only aimed at encouraging students to excel in academics. While it was apolitical, the party wanted the students to be politically and socially aware and work for the nation’s development.

The other reason behind encouraging students was also because development of students would lead to the development of nation. The party had always believed in this right from the days of Periyar and Anna.

It was their vision that the party implemented through various schemes for the welfare of students.

Unlike in the past, the Trust was giving away prizes only to State rank holders as it did not have the financial wherewithal to give away prizes to district rank holders.

This year, the Trust gave away Rs. 56.20 lakh to 469 State rank holders in Class X and Plus-Two examinations.

Thus far, it had given away 1.98 crore to 3,328 students.

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