Sterlite firing shocks visually challenged topper in Chennai

Kathirvel Vijayabalan, a topper from the Government Higher Secondary School for the Blind in Poonamallee, always wanted to become a district Collector. 

Published: 24th May 2018 02:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th May 2018 03:13 PM   |  A+A-

Kathirvel Vijayabalan (Express Photo)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Kathirvel Vijayabalan, a topper from the Government Higher Secondary School for the Blind in Poonamallee, always wanted to become a district Collector. But now he is not so sure, though he scored 457 marks out of 500 in the Class X Board exam. Getting his results the day after 11 anti-Sterlite protesters were killed in police firing in Thoothukudi, the 17-year-old from Samuthiram village in Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s constituency of Edappadi, says he does not know if he would be able to ignore such brutalities just to toe the political diktat, if he were to ever become a Collector. 

“Government officials must always remember to do what is right by law,” he said, explaining the incident could have been avoided if the government had listened to the cries of the people and shut the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi. While he might have the mind for greatness and not a hard enough heart to climb up the bureaucratic ladder with no regrets, his principal Vijaya Kumari believes his ultimate selling point — persistence — will help him overcome any obstacle.

Kathirvel failed in mathematics in his quarterly and half yearly exams this year. 

“I have never been good at math. I could not grasp it like I grasped social science, my favourite subject,” he says.  However, he scored 87 out of 100 in the Board exam, surprising many of his classmates. “He kept practising sums and did not give up. But he was never selfish and used to take time to teach me also,” says V Praveen, his classmate. 

Kathirvel plans to continue his education in the same school and choose an arts course in college to get time to prepare for the civil services examinations. “My parents are daily wage labourers and they just want me to get a government job,” he says, explaining he does not want to settle for anything less than the prestigious Indian Administrative Service.


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