Despite Cracking NEET Twice, Med Class Still Dreams For This Student, Seeks Government Help

Thangapechi, a resident of Panamooppanpatti village in Madurai district, has cracked NEET twice but is still absent from a medical course due to lack of money. She is now urging the government to provide her with assistance to continue her education.

She is the eldest of four sisters. Thangapechi graduated from senior high school at Vikramangalam Kallar High School. Following this, she applied for the NEET and passed the medical entrance exam. Unfortunately for Thangapechi, she was unable to enroll in a private medical school because the fees for studying medicine were extremely high.

In this situation, Thangapechi went to a private training class and again wrote the NEET and got 256 points and this time she enrolled in the government Mookambikai Medical College in Kanyakumari district. The government said it would only pay tuition fees. The family have urged the Tamil Nadu government and social activists to help them as there is no financial stability for other expenses including accommodation.

Read | Fewer offs, subsumed foundation course to complete MBBS in a timely manner despite delayed admissions

According to Thangapechi, she does farming at the same time because her family is unable to support her education expenses on her own. “We live in Panamooppanpatti village of Madurai district. My father Sannasi went through difficulties so that we could study until schooling. We are four girls. From an early age, I had a desire to become a doctor and I studied hard for it. I passed the NEET exam as per government guidelines. Unfortunately, I couldn’t continue my studies last year because I got a place in a private medical school,” Thangapechi said.

In addition, she pointed out, “It was reported that the government of Tamil Nadu has taken care of the expenses of public school students pursuing medical studies. Then I attended the second phase of the council and there were only private colleges available. Coming from a very backward village, I suffered the situation of not being able to afford other expenses. Continuing this year, I went to a private training course and I I passed the NEET exam. In medical counseling, I got a place at Kanyakumari Mookambikai Medical College. The government only bears the tuition fees. But I don’t know what to do for other expenses.”

“My parents are daily wage earners and they support four girls. Our income is insufficient to meet the needs of the family. I work in the farm field in the morning before going to school. During holidays, I would go to a nearby field to pick jasmine to earn a daily wage. This is where I bought notebooks. Meanwhile, books currently required for medical studies are likely to be more expensive. So we’re amazed that we can’t afford them. I urge the state government and social activists to consider and agree to further expenditures,” she said.

Afterwards, Thangapechi claimed that she passed NEET and got a medical seat with a reservation of 7.5% and that the reservation percentage should be increased for the benefit of rural students like her.

When Sannasi, Thangapechi’s father said, “Usilampatti taluk is the most backward in Madurai district. This is the place where female infanticide has taken place the most in the past. Despite everything, I continued to educate my four daughters without listening to what the people of the city were saying. I did everything I could to support my daughters. That’s why my daughter had come out with flying colors. It gives happiness on the one hand and anxiety on the other. I can’t pay such a huge sum as a day laborer. I have done my best to help bring gender equality to the fore in the community. My daughter is waiting to become a doctor. But the critical financial situation is blocking us.”

Meanwhile, many political leaders in Tamil Nadu have come forward to help Thangapechi. In August 2021, a new law was enacted in the Tamil Nadu State Assembly reserving 7.5% seats for government school students in vocational courses as government students competing with private students have struggling to obtain the higher education of their choice. The majors covered engineering, veterinary medicine, agriculture, law and other professional courses offered in government, government-subsidized and private colleges in Tamil Nadu.

In 2020, the previous AIADMK scheme also introduced a 7.5% reservation for public school students in UG medical admissions on the grounds that students from disadvantaged backgrounds struggled to achieve high marks in NEET . Reportedly, due to the 7.5% medical admissions quota, over 400 students from public schools were able to join MBBS in 2020.

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About Stuart M. McFarland

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