4 tribal students, children of bonded labourers, get admission in MCC

The community, traditionally involved in snake and rat catching and honey collection, is one of the six particularly vulnerable tribal groups in Tamil Nadu.

Published: 11th August 2022 08:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th August 2022 10:22 AM   |  A+A-

The tribal students in Madras Christian College (Photo | Ashwin Prasath, EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: In a big leap of faith for a community that has remained on the margins for thousands of years, four tribal students — including three girls who are daughters of rescued bonded labourers — have joined undergraduate courses at Madras Christian College this year.

The community, traditionally involved in snake and rat catching and honey collection, is one of the six particularly vulnerable tribal groups in Tamil Nadu and is among the most backward in education and employment.

Nandhini, Ramya, and Priya are 17 years old; Rajkumar is 21. Nandhini’s father died when she was young and her mother Vijaya worked as a bonded labourer at a brick kiln in Tiruvallur until she was rescued in 2014.

“I used to live in different hostels till my mother and I shifted to the Irular smart colony in Tiruvannamalai three years ago. Though my mother was rescued from bonded labour in 2014, it took a long time for her to mingle with us again,” said Nandhini, who joined BA Tamil this year. Ramya, too, has joined BA Tamil. Rajkumar is enrolled in BA History and Priya has chosen BA Social Work. While Nandhini and Priya want to become police officers, Rajkumar aspires to be an IAS officer.

“Becoming an IAS officer is an uphill task for tribal people like us. But I want to aim high and achieve it,” Rajkumar said. Ramya’s mother, who worked as a bonded labourer at a rice mill in Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh, was rescued in 2012. Priya’s mom and dad were rescued from a rice mill in Tiruvallur district in 2010.

“After being rescued from bonded labour, my parents wanted me to stay in hostels,” Priya said. “Nandhini and Rajkumar are from the smart colony for Irular tribals located at Meesanallur village in Tiruvannamalai district. They will be the first graduates from the 143 families settled in the colony. Madras Christian College has given seats for seven tribal students, including these four, so far.


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  • l.s.mohandoss

    Good job done by MCC
    1 month ago reply
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