VELLORE: A poor but bright and spirited 16-year-old girl scored 198 in chemistry, 197 in biology and 198 in physics in the recent plus-two Board examination. Though she dreams of becoming a medical practitioner, she cannot expect admission for MBBS in government medical colleges in the State. The reason: she is a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee and is not eligible under government quota.
R Nandhini, was born in Tamil Nadu and completed her schooling in a school in Palliyuthu in Erode district. “My father, with his meager earnings as a painter, supported my studies and I hoped to get admission to a government college after scoring good marks. I was not aware that children of Sri Lankan Tamils were not eligible,” Nandhini told Express. She is the eldest daughter of T Raja and Allimalar, who live in Arachalur Refugee camp in Erode.
“Many with less cut-off marks than mine, which is 197.5, have received call letters for counselling. When I approached authorities, I was informed that I was not eligible,” said Nandhini.
After a similar incident was highlighted four years ago, the State government issued a GO creating a provision for children of Lankan refugees to apply for admission to engineering courses, but medicine was not included.
Nandhini submited a petition to the commissioner of Rehabilitation and Welfare of Non-resident Tamils highlighting her plight.