COIMBATORE: In the first phase of Medical Counselling 2020-2021 that began with allotment of seats for government school students under the 7.5 per cent horizontal quota, one R Swetha Packiyam (18) from here secured a BDS programme seat at a private college.
A student of the Corporation Girls Higher Secondary School (academic year 2019-2020) in Ramakrishnapuram, Swetha scored 142 marks out of the 720 marks in NEET-2020 without attending any coaching class.
Swetha and her family were on cloud nine when the State government announced that it would bear the educational expenses of students like her. However, when the college administration asked her to pay Rs 55,000 immediately as material fee, she was genuinely worried. Thanks to her school teachers, a chunk of the material fee was pooled in.
Headmistress of the Ramakrishnapuram Corporation Girls Higher Secondary School, P Palaniammal, said, “Soon after we came to know that she secured a seat in a dental college, we started pooling in money. We managed to collect around Rs 46,000. The remaining amount was paid by Swetha’s family.” It was using a portion of the collected money Swetha had gone to Chennai to attend the counselling, Palaniammal added.
Swetha thanked the State government for its decision to bear the tuition fee of students like her. “My teachers’ timely aid helped me secure this seat,” she added.
Swetha said her father, a daily wage worker at a lathe workshop, bought her textbooks since he could not afford a smartphone for her to attend online NEET coaching. It was with the help of those books she cracked NEET. Her teachers solved her doubts whenever she got one. She added, “I’m a first-generation graduate and the sole person to pursue medicine from my family.”