KERALA

Medicos join hands to help fellow student

ALAPPUZHA, AUG. 1. In a rare gesture, students of the Alappuzha Medical College have come together to help a fellow Scheduled Tribe (ST) student who is finding it difficult to pursue his studies because of financial difficulties at home and the failure of the authorities to provide him benefits due to an ST student.

The students staying in the hostel of the Alappuzha Medical College are sharing the expenses incurred by Reuben Lee, a first year MBBS student, for his food and studies. The 60 students who stay in the hostel have borne the mess fee of Mr. Lee for the last 10 months. His other expenses are met by his classmates.

No benefits so far

According to Mr. Lee, he has not received the benefits due to Scheduled Tribe students since he joined the college in the all-India quota. Mr. Lee's father is a farmer in the Andaman & Nicobar islands and he does not have the money to support Mr. Lee.

According to Mr. Lee, when he approached the college authorities and the State Government for aid they told him that it is the responsibility of the Central Government to provide him aid.

Steps sought

Ashish Nair, secretary of the Students Federation of India, Alappuzha Medical College committee, who takes the lead in helping Mr. Lee, says they had submitted necessary documents to the authorities concerned eight months ago to prove the caste status of Mr. Lee. But they have not received any positive response from the Central Government.

According to Mr. Ashish Nair, the authorities are denying benefits to Mr. Lee without any valid reason. While the Lakshadweep administration provides various benefits to students who study here from the island, the Andaman & Nicobar administration seems unconcerned.

The SFI wants the Central Government and the Union Territory administration to take immediate steps to provide benefits due to Mr. Lee.

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