Dakshina Kannada district is showing the way that the educated girl child is as good as anyone else, said Oscar Fernandes, MP.
The MP was speaking as a chief guest at a scholarship distribution function at Yenepoya University, Deralakatte, on Thursday.
Mr. Fernandes said people should visit the district to see how minority institutions impart education not only to boys but also to girls. He said: “Wherever I go, I talk about my district, and tell people it has so many schools, colleges and universities.” He gave away scholarships to select students who excelled in SSLC, PUC and undergraduate examinations in the last academic year. The scholarships have been instituted by The Yenepoya Foundation, a unit of Yenepoya Moideen Kunhi Memorial Educational and Charitable Trust.
The students selected were from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts in Karnataka and Kasargod in Kerala on merit basis. For 2010-11, the foundation gave scholarships to 206 students and 15 institutions.
Mr. Fernandes said he was served tea by a boy from Belthangady at the Mangalore Harbour Canteen. When asked why he did not go to school, he was told that the boy's father sent him to work although the boy stood first in his class. “They say there is 100 per cent education in our district yet there are such children,” he said. It was up to parents to provide opportunity to children, especially as the Government had been spending Rs. 15 crore on getting children to school with midday meals and free scholarships. He said: “From 8 per cent, we now have 12.4 per cent of students reaching universities. We should aim at 20 per cent and eventually 30 per cent by 2020.” Mr. Fernandes said ways should be found to retain talented young people. “Today, Indians are in NASA, Silicon Valley and one governor in the U.S. is of Indian origin. In coming days, we will see more Indians in governance and administration in the U.S.,” he said.