In spite of poverty and emotional distress, P. Suresh Kumar, a Scheduled Caste boy, has won a medical seat. Ambedkar Nagar, where he lives, is ecstatic about Suresh’s achievement as he will be the first boy in the colony to become a medico. The colony has more than 100 families and around 10 college-going youth.
“We have boys in the colony studying engineering and arts and science courses but this is the first time a boy from our colony has got a medical seat and this could pave the way for other secured youth to follow suit,” said Vigneshwar a B.E. graduate.
Suresh scored 1130 marks in the Plus Two examination and secured a seat in the Theni Medical College. He couldn’t afford private tuition. He did not have creature comforts at home. And there were days when food was scarce. But none of this stopped him from achieving his goal.
A student of St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School, Suresh was selected under the ‘Special Scholarship Scheme for SC/ST and SC/Christian Converts.’
But for the scheme, he would have discontinued his studies, his mother P. Shanthi told The Hindu.
Suresh lost his father when he was six-years-old and was raised by his mother, an agricultural daily wage labourer.
The youngest of three, Suresh was a bright student who always topped the exams in school. He scored 483 in the Class X exams and emerged the topper at the Government High School at Thiruppachethi in Sivaganga district.
His home in Ambedkar Nagar is a single room partitioned to accommodate a kitchen. When this reporter visited his house, he was convalescing from a bout of Chicken Pox. He said poverty forced his sister Usha Nanthini (22) to sacrifice her studies and work in a mill to support the family. His brother Saravana Kumar (20) suffers from mental retardation and requires assistance.
“These conditions prompted me to work harder, and my aim is to serve the poor who have no means of getting quality healthcare,” Suresh said with resolve.
“Our economic condition is so bad that we have to borrow Rs.10,000 to travel to Chennai to attend the counselling. But I am happy that my son will be a doctor soon and will alleviate our condition,” said Shanthi, unable to hold back her tears. Still, the family needs financial support and is looking forward to voluntary organisations and individual donors who can help the deserving candidate complete his studies.
Rev. Fr. Arokiasamy, hostel warden of St. Mary’s School, remembers him as an exemplary student with good grasping power. Principal Rev. Fr. A. Kulandairaj said that the school provided regular coaching for Plus Two students and a special diet was given to them at examination time.
A. Jaganathan, a PhD scholar from Madurai Kamaraj University, said that Suresh should be applauded because as a member of a disadvantaged community, he beat great personal odds to achieve a milestone in education.