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Aid for visually-challenged Nalgonda-based IIT topper

Rapolu Ratan Kumar

Rapolu Ratan Kumar  

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The travails of an IIT topper ended on Saturday when the State government offered to meet the entire expenditure for his professional education and released Rs. 40,000 towards tuition fee, to begin with.

Rapolu Ratan Kumar (17) is a visually-challenged student from Miryalaguda in Nalgonda district belonging to a backward community. He secured the first rank in IIT-JEE 2008 in the physically-challenged category and plans to opt for IIT Mumbai.

A cheque for Rs. 40,000 was handed over to Ratan by Minister for Disabled Welfare N. Rajyalakshmi in the presence of his parents and officials, at a press conference in the Secretariat on Saturday. The government has extended assistance on learning about Ratan’s plight from reports in the media.

Ratan bagged 116th rank in EAMCET and scored 935 out of 1,000 marks in Intermediate and 561 out of 600 in SSC (Miryalaguda).

Ratan said he suffered from poor vision (50 per cent), a disability which did not allow him to read books beyond seven hours a day.

Yet, he worked for more than 10 hours a day and completed SSC in Telugu medium. The department’s munificent gesture had come like a bolt from the blue, he said.

Free coaching

The Minister said the parental upper income limit for reimbursing tuition fee in case of disabled students had been raised from Rs. 12,000 to Rs one lakh per annum. She said free coaching would be offered to disabled students appearing for Group I & II services and other competitive exams.

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