Two toppers, one rewarded, other ignored; Is it fair to discriminate among promising students?
Keen on pursuing medicine, Haryana school board Class XII joint topper Naveen Kumar has cleared NEET, ranked 1,554 in the OBC category, but is worried that lack of funds may come in the way.
Belonging to a family with modest means, he is looking to the state government for help. His father Ran Singh, who works as a compounder with a private clinic, is still smarting under the insult of his son being left out of a reward function in Bhiwani on June 4.
“I am hurt. Naveen keeps asking why the state Education Minister chose to ignore him while presenting a cheque for Rs 4 lakh to the co-topper, Heena.” He now plans to seek a bank loan to sponsor his son’s education. “The government must extend help to bright students from underprivileged sections,” he adds.
Naveen claims the government is partial with students from government schools. “I worked as hard as Heena, who passed out from a government school. I am proud that we both belong to the same town. But the government must not treat us differently. This hurts me and my father,” he says.
Jagbir Singh, Haryana Board of School Education Chairman, denies the charge. “Heena was given financial aid as her family had appealed to the Education Minister for it. Apparently, no such request was made by Naveen’s family,” he explains.
Naveen has two sisters older than him. A small house in Shiv Colony and two buffaloes is all that the family has. Naveen had secured the sixth place in matriculation following which his school had waived his entire fee.
A private institute had offered him free coaching for NEET. He is now awaiting a similar gesture from the government.
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