Adivasi girl gets help to chase IIT dream

KTR hands over financial aid to Srilatha, donations pour in from various quarters

The financial assistance provided by Industries and IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao and a host of other philanthropists to Karam Srilatha, the 17-year-old Adivasi girl from the interior Mamidigudem village in the border mandal of Charla, has boosted her morale giving her the much-needed momentum to chase her dream of studying engineering in the elite Indian Institute of Technology-BHU (IIT-BHU) in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi.

The nondescript village in Bhadrachalam Agency shot into limelight after Srilatha belonging to a poor farm labourer’s family bagged a seat in the prestigious IIT-BHU by securing 919 rank in the JEE (Advanced)-2021.

She secured high marks in her Intermediate course, which she studied in the Telangana Tribal Welfare Residential Educational Institution (TS Gurukulam) in Nagarkurnool district.

An article published in these columns on Sunday shone a spotlight on the Adivasi girl’s outstanding achievement and her perseverance.

Readers extend help

Offers of financial aid poured in from a host of generous persons, including several readers of The Hindu from various walks of life to support her educational pursuits.

In a swift response to a Nalgonda-based doctor’s tweet about the meritorious Adivasi girl from a poor family as highlighted in these columns, Mr Rama Rao invited Srilatha and her parents to Pragathi Bhavan in Hyderabad, where he handed over financial assistance to Srilatha to meet her education-related expenses on Monday, sources said.

He also assured to extend all help to Srilatha to enable her complete her B.Tech in a hassle-free manner.

Several other donors including some members of various Adivasi organisations also reached out to the poor tribal girl with assurances to provide all possible help to the latter to continue with her further studies.

The Tribal Welfare Department has already directed officials of Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA), Bhadrachalam, to facilitate her to apply for post-matric scholarship through e-pass portal and enable her get reimbursement of tuition fee in full and maintenance charges (mess charges) under the State government’s scholarship scheme.

Meanwhile, the Charla police on Tuesday handed over a financial assistance of ₹12,000 to Srilatha following the initiative of Bhadrachalam ASP G. Vineeth to support the talented tribal girl from the remotest corner of Telangana.

“I owe a lot to Mr K.T. Rama Rao and all those who reached out to me with support and encouragement,” remarked Srilatha, who returned to Charla, located about 320 km from Hyderabad, on Tuesday morning.

Speaking to The Hindu, she said: “Their (philanthropists) acts of kindness will inspire many other girls like me hailing from remote areas to continue studies in premier institutions of higher learning to become productive members of society.”

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