Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Should the story of Dipak Das, begin and end with him?

in Orissa and abroad among NRIs(Non Resident Indians), particularly NROs(Non Resident Orissans or Oriyas). Many have volunteered to support Dipak through the medical school. Three banks have been wining and dining him (so to say) having arranged special functions in his honor at their Jagatsingpur branches. see Sambad news
And many FFE coordinators have expressed concern for the boy. It is another matter that the boy will not be able to continue medical studies if he gets FFE scholarship of Rs. 25000 when his study expenses are Rs. 45 thou / year or so. And he will get this in January / February of 2007. Thus if he is really poor he can't survive till that time.
On the positive side FFE scholarships and other scholarships, which are coordinated in India by our associate Vikas Charitable Trust's Sri S. C. Choudhury has so far helped mentor and monitor 35 medical students and 70 plus Engineering students. And helped them get through.
But Dipak is only one of the many cases from Orissa. Accidentally or incidentally he is first in JEE. But any one who gets an admission to the Medical School is by design a good student, so scare are the seats and so fierce is the competetion. So those others the 21st, the 41st, the 61st the 101th or 201th et el are all good students, too. How do we provide them, if they need support? How come no one talks of them. Many of them will need "Unsecured" bank loan to get from here to there, when they qualify in the JEE examination to when they become doctors or Engineers.
And that needs a lot of thought on Bank's part too to meet their social obligations. Banks should not get lost in gimmicks of multiple bank's offer to the same kid, who accidentally has become first. They should collaborate to see that all the kids who have qualified and need funds, get them.

As we discuss this one more issue comes to my mind. These days some kids are passing school, first time in their villages or families, who don't have any resources in the family to support them in the college. These are real meritorious students who minimal family support and no financial support to go for tuition, are getting 60 to 70%. They are thus real meritorious students, with raw merit - and not massaged merit, who are massaged through tuition for IIT or IIM.
But in these days of commercialized education they need Rs. 10 to 12 thousand per year to get by for the 11th and 12th grade. Thus they need between Rs. 40 to 50 thousand to pass B.A / B.Sc to become a teacher or get where they can get a job. I don't think banks are even considering such students and they should - if our society is ever to provide equal opportunity. But where is that thought?
That is why I ask - "Should the story of Dipak Das, begin and end with him?"