EOI, DARJEELING, 19 Jul 2016: Mridush Parna Baruah, a girl from Assam, got admission at Darjeeling Government College for BA in History (Honours) courtesy the involvement of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, even though the admission process in the institution has ended.
Mamata helps Assam girl get admission in Darjeeling Govt CollegePosted by Kalimpongnews.net on July 20th, 2016 07:16 AM | Local News, North East News, Regional News, State News
Mridush Parna’s father, Swapan Kumar Baruah, who arrived in Darjeeling on Monday, paid the admission fee today and thanked the chief minister for going out of the way to help, saying he would not have been able to get his daughter admitted in reputed colleges in Kolkata and Bangalore.
Baruah is a resident of Milanpur, Adarsh Nagar in Ward 6 of Nagaon, Assam. He gives private Mathematics tuitions and earns about Rs 15,000-16,000 per month. This amount is just about enough to sustain his family of three, Mridush Parna, wife Nilakshi and himself, says he.
It was by chance that the Assamese family met the chief minister in Darjeeling on July 13 when she was here along with the President for a three-day stay. Narrating the incident, the father said, “It was raining that day and we were trying to locate the college. I don’t know the road’s name but we are on the upper fringes of town (near Raj Bhawan on Birch Hill Road). Since it was raining heavily, I asked my wife and daughter to take shelter while I went ahead to locate the college.”
It was his 19-year-old daughter who first met the chief minister, who at that time was on her routine morning walk. Mridush Parna addressed her as aunty to ask for directions to the college. “Till then my daughter did not know she was the Bengal chief minister,” Baruah said. “She asked the chief minister and was told to search further ahead up the road and the CM even told Mridush not to get wet in the rain.”
Baruah had lost hope when he was told by some college officials that admissions had ended. And this was when the chief minister came to his help. “One of her security guards approached us saying the CM wanted to meet us. She asked for my daughter’s education details and then spoke to someone on the phone. After that she asked us to meet the district magistrate,” he said.
The online admission for the BA Honours course had started on May 29 and was over on June 6. The merit lists were out by June 8-9 and the counseling session was held on June 21. The Baruahs thanked the chief minister for her benevolence even as the father said her act of kindness could have been prompted by some of the initiatives the state government has launched to better educate the girl child. “There is the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhau initiative and the CM has also floated some schemes for the girl child. Maybe she wanted to set an example, but we are thankful to her for her kindness,” the father said.
As the Baruahs had come to Darjeeling only to explore the possibility of Mridush Parna getting admission at Darjeeling Government College as the Rs1,750-fee was way too nominal compared to the Rs35,000 and above asked in Bangalore or Kolkata, the district magistrate had asked the father to submit relevant documents on Monday. “When I found out the admission fee at this college while searching the internet, I was shocked. The amount of Rs1,750 is unheard of and I immediately came with my daughter and wife to locate the college and find out for ourselves,” Baruah said.
Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastava was handed over an application by the candidate on Monday and it was forwarded to the college principal. “A man from Assam came to me with a request for admission and I forwarded it to the higher education department. The department accepted the request and gave its approval,” he said.
The chief minister may have gone out of her way to ensure the girl got admission, but the father said he would keep his daughter in the college only if hostel facilities were provided (the college has two hostels), as a paying guest accommodation arrangement was not financially feasible.