With the minimum cut-off for the scheduled tribe (ST) category in NEET at 108, the young girl is the first from her village to crack NEET at 202 marks. Earlier, another ST candidate had scored 146 marks in NEET and got admission into a private medical college in TN under the government school quota. Basis this, Sangavi, who belongs to the Malasar tribal community in TN, hopes to get admission into a government medical college in the state.
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Early lifeSangavi completed her early education from a government school in Tamil medium. In 2018, she got 875/1200 in her class XII exams to become the highest scoring scheduled tribe (ST) student in her school. With plans to pursue higher education, Sangavi applied for a caste certificate (CC), but issues from the official ends led to delay in issuance of the same.
Sangavi’s father used to work in a farm, earning Rs 1500-2000 weekly. “Last year, one day he just collapsed and passed away, which was later attributed to a cardiac arrest,” says Sangavi. Her mother suffers from visual impairment, due to which her family income dwindled to Rs 1000 provided by TN government to families below poverty line (BPL). Her family history, along with the general health crisis in her small village, with no medical facilities, made her resolve to become a medical professional.
Help from social workers
A socially inclined group helped Sangavi overcome the hurdles in attaining her dream. “A group of social workers had come to our village and discovered our plight. One of them became my guardian and helped me get my CC. He also helped sponsor my admission and stay at a NEET coaching academy, which was around 55 km from my village,” says Sangavi.
Due to the pandemic, Sangavi was able to receive formal NEET coaching for four months. “In 2020, I took coaching in November and December, while in 2021, I took coaching in August and September. Keeping in mind the previous achievements by ST candidates, I hope that my score of 202 will help me get admission into a government medical college,” she says.
Sangavi says that her family’s financial condition has been one of her biggest challenges. “If not for social workers and organisations, I would never have been able to crack NEET,” she says.
While attending her NEET coaching, Sangavi was part of a batch of students from across various backgrounds. “Initially, it was a challenge to be a part of a mixed group. I decided to put my head down and concentrate on studying. The rest did not matter,” she says.
Social workers also helped get treatment for her mother, which acted as a big morale booster for Sangavi. “After three operations, my mother is finally able to see a little, which has been another dream come true,” she says.
Sangavi is the first girl from her village to finish schooling and heading to attain higher education. “I want to become a heart specialist. One of my greatest sources of happiness is that inspired by my journey, few other children from my village have taken back admission into school at various levels. I wish them all the best,” she says.
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