Her passion and hardwork have earned recognition for the tribal community and made others know about the tribe which is on the verge of extinction. C Kalyani has attended her first day at an engineering college and felt herself very lucky to be the first girl from her community, the Primitive Tribal Group (PTG) Thoti, to go to an engineering college. “I cannot believe that I am here on this huge and beautiful campus and such a great college. I am so lucky, you know? It is a dream come true,” said Kalyani, who took admission at Jawaharlal Nehru Technology University (JNTU) in Sulthanpur, Telangana, according to The Indian Express.
It was for the first time she came out of her village to stay in a hostel. “I am happier because my roommate happens to be a friend from the tribal coaching centre,” she said with a slight smile on her face. The girl hailing from Dubarpet in Adilabad district aims to become a scientist. She opted for material science and nanotechnology engineering branch while her friend R Soumika, has joined electronics and communications engineering.
Talking about the regimen of her hostel, she said “Breakfast is at 8 am at the dining hall, then it’s back to the room to get ready to go to classes at 10. At 1:30 we will break for lunch and go back at 2 and study again till 4:30. Then, back to the room. I am loving it already.” The tribal girls fought against all the odds including poverty and took a step forward towards their goal. Both Kalyani and Soumika were selected for coaching for JEE and Engineering Agricultural Medical Common Entrance Test (Eamcet) along with 28 other tribal students at Telangana’s tribal students’ welfare residential schools in Adilabad district under a special coaching programme called Star-30, as per IE.
This coaching has helped the tribal students to crack JEE Main, JEE Advanced (for IITs) or Eamcet to secure admission to top engineering colleges. Adilabad DC Dr Jyothi Buddha Prakash, Mancherial district collector R V Karnan, and in-charge Anura Jayanthi were given Telangana Excellence Awards on Independence Day for the project Star-30.
The PTG groups have less than 2,000 people who live in Telangana. People there stay in forests in Adilabad and Karimnagar districts which lacks many basic facilities enjoyed by students in the cities. The literacy levels of the groups are also very low and most of them work as farm labour.