Tribal couple take loans for daughter’s medical education

Despite securing an All-India Rank of 422 in NEET 2023, Kusumanjali’s admission to a medical college in Karimnagar seemed shaky.
Kottem Kusumanjali with her family. (Photo | Express)
Kottem Kusumanjali with her family. (Photo | Express)

MAHABUBABAD: While heartening tales of successful crowdfunding initiatives to pursue educational endeavours continue to flood our social media feeds, it has not been the case for 19-year-old Kottem Kusumanjali, a tribal girl from the Macherla village in Gudur mandal. Instead, her parents are trying to fund her medical education by taking loans from relatives and neighbours. 

Despite securing an All-India Rank (AIR) of 422 in NEET 2023, Kusumanjali’s admission to a medical college in Karimnagar seemed shaky. Her parents, Kottem Venkanna, a farmer, and Subhadra, a daily wage labourer, aspired to see their daughter become a doctor.

After Kusumanjali was allotted a seat at the C Ananda Rao Institute of Medical Sciences under the Competent Authority Quota, her parents started a social media campaign to help them collect the admission fees of Rs 1.3 lakh. However, it failed to take off, prompting Venkanna to seek help from relatives and neighbours. 

‘Ready to sell 4-acre land for daughter’s education’

Knowing Kusumanjali’s academic background, people extended loans on an interest basis, helping Venkanna collect the Rs 1.3 lakh required for admission. Speaking to TNIE, Kusumanjali said she completed her matriculation and higher secondary from tribal welfare institutions, securing a perfect score in Class 10 and 80 per cent in Intermediate (BIPC stream). She mentioned that her Inter lecturers encouraged her to apply for NEET and funded her study materials. 

“While I was happy as I had cracked the medical entrance test on my first attempt, it soon turned into sadness after I informed my parents and I realised that financial constraints would prevent me from becoming a doctor,” she remarked.

However, instead of stewing in self-pity, they sketched out a plan to fund her medical education, she shared. Subsequently, after the failure of the social media campaign, they prepared a plan to take loans from villagers and relatives and steps they would take to pay them back.

Expressing his commitment to ensuring his daughter’s education at any cost, Venkanna said he was ready to sell his four acres of agricultural land for Kusumanjali’s education as well. While the initial admission fee has been collected, he requested people to send donations to his GPay account — 7013804527 — to enable Kusumanjali to continue her medical education.

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The New Indian Express