Vijayalakshmi, an 18-year-old girl from the Kattunayakar community in Tamil Nadu's Alwarkurichi, was denied a college seat in a government-aided educational institution because the district administration refused to provide her with a community certificate.
However, things took a turn for good for the teenager when media reports highlighting her plight made headlines. Soon after, she reportedly got a free seat from Einstein College of Arts and Science (ECAS).
Ezhilvanan, Secretary of ECAS, handed out the admission order to Vijayalakshmi and also promised her free education, as well as transportation and uniform.
"I thought of giving up my dream of higher studies as all my efforts to obtain the community certificate ended in vain. However, I have now joined B.Sc., Mathematics and I'm planning to start preparing for the competitive examinations," Vijayalakshmi told The New Indian Express.
Denied Community Certificate
Vijayalakshmi aced her Plus Two exam with an 80 per cent mark. Despite her name appearing on the merit list for B.Sc Physics, a government-aided educational institution denied her admission due to the lack of a community certificate.
Sankar, her father, collects and sells plastic and metal debris in the town of Alwarkurichi, The New Indian Express had earlier reported.
The Tahsildar noted the applicant did not submit the supporting documentation, according to Ramachandran, Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO), Tenkasi, who rejected the girl's appeal.
Applicants must provide a community certificate from one of their parents or siblings, their Aadhar card, and a passport-size photo, according to the e-Sevai portal. Sankar stated that he had submitted his Transfer Certificate (TC), which included his community information and the community certificate of a cousin who lives in Srivaikundam.
Vijayalakshmi's father further claimed that revenue authorities are pressuring him to get his daughter's certificate under the Kuravan community of the SC category rather than his Kattunayakar community of the ST category.
M K Kanimozhi, the DMK MP who had urged college authorities for a seat for Vijayalakshmi, said that even if the tribal girl was given the seat in ECAS, she would work hard to acquire her a community certificate.