CHENNAI: Not all the time one comes across a farmer who says he isn’t worried about debts. For 52-year-old Diwakaran, if debt means he could educate his girl child, then he is willing to take the burden on his slumped shoulders.
On Saturday, he was at the Anna University, along with daughter D Prathibha, to attend the BE/B Tech counselling session. They had come from Pudukudi village in Kumbakonam.
Diwakaran is a paddy farmer. He hasn’t studied beyond class VII and his wife is not literate. But education of the finest quality is what he desires for both his daughters. “I am coming to Chennai for the first time. My other daughter is in Class XI, so I think I will be coming here again,” he smiled.
He had to pool in his earnings to educate the daughters in a private Tamil medium school in Kumbakonam. “Thankfully, she studies all by herself,” he says of Prathibha.
“She wants to study Computer Science. It will be nice if she gets into a college in Chennai,” he adds.
Ask him why, and he says, “Children from my village talk about going to Coimbatore to study engineering, but I found out after coming here that Coimbatore children want to come to Chennai to study. So, Chennai must be better.”
Being a farmer doesn’t always guarantee good income, and he acknowledges it. So how does he plan to fund his daughter’s tuition?
“I will take a loan. I will repay in small amounts until she gets a job. I am happy to be under debt if it means that my daughters can lead a life better than mine,” he said.