Beating All Odds! TN Tribal Boy Leaves Cattle Rearing To Pursue Dream Of Studying Agriculture

Image Credit: Twitter/CMOTamilNadu

The Logical Indian Crew

Beating All Odds! TN Tribal Boy Leaves Cattle Rearing To Pursue Dream Of Studying Agriculture

After a long three-year wait, Chandran- who belongs to a tribal family in a remote hamlet on the Bargur Hills- finally got his admission to his dream course in agriculture.

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Growing up in a poor tribal family with ten siblings in a remote part of Tamil Nadu's Bargur Hills in Erode district, all that U. Chandran wanted after completing Class 12 was to follow his dream and pursue a degree programme in agriculture or veterinary science.

After receiving his schooling, run by the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) for a few years, Chandran remained in a Tribal Welfare department-run hostel to complete his board exams for class 12 by specialising in the vocational stream — Agricultural Practices — in 2019.

Defeating All Odds

Despite of securing 98 per cent in his core subjects and 74 per cent in total in the 12th board exams, Chandran failed to get admission to the courses of his desire amid the systemic unjustness in the admission processes of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) and Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) towards candidates from vocational streams.

The seat arithmetic in TANUVAS did not permit the reservation of a single seat for a student from the tribal areas from the vocational stream; TNAU permitted vocational stream aspirants only in its own colleges and not in its affiliated colleges, reported The Hindu.

Even in colleges of its own, TNAU did not put into place reservation policies for the admission of vocational stream students.

Chandran's Dream Course!

Crushed after failing to secure a seat, the tribal boy decided to go back to cattle rearing in his village while he occasionally worked as a labourer in textile companies in his area over the past three years.

After some much-needed encouragement from the non-governmental organisation Sudar, which has been assisting him in his education since school, Chandran decided to apply every year to TANUVAS and TNAU since 2019. But got rejected every time.

However, just when he was considering giving up pursuing his dream, Chandran secured a seat in the Kumaraguru Institute of Agriculture (KIA) this year, on the back of the efforts of Sudar and a few more activists and also intervention from the TN Chief Minister's office.

On March 30, the official Twitter handle of the Tamil Nadu CM's office posted a photograph of Chandran and wrote in Tamil: "Based on the order to implement 5% special quota in the affiliated colleges of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University for the students studying agriculture in the vocational education course in Class XII, B.Sc. An aboriginal student from Bargur hill village in Erode district who received an admission order for a degree in agriculture, Mr. Chandran met the Hon'ble Chief Minister @mkstalin and thanked him."

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Writer : Snehadri Sarkar
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Editor : Shiva Chaudhary
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Creatives : Snehadri Sarkar