Hyderabad, July 10 (IANS) Hailing from remote parts of Telangana and belonging to economically backward families, they have never even visited other states or cities in the country, but now they will be leaving for a foreign land all on their own.
The four girl students from the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) may be flying to Australia as they have found wings to their dreams.
These young students, who passed the intermediate (Class 12) examinations with good percentages, have been selected to pursue under-graduate courses Down Under.
They will study Bachelor of Business courses either at the University of Wollongong or the University of Newcastle with the ultimate aim of becoming economists.
This is the first time in the 36-year-long history of the TSWREIS that the girls passing out of its institution will be flying abroad for under-graduate studies.
G. Chandana, G. Manogna, S. Krishnaveni and K. Sankeerthana overcame all odds to not only excel in the Plus Two exams but are now preparing to crack IELTS (International English Language Testing System) to clear the last hurdle.
"I had never imagined that I will reach this stage but this became possible due to the blessings of my parents and all the support and encouragement I received from the teachers," Chandana told IANS.
Daughter of a gym coach in Warangal Urban district, Chandana like the other three studied Intermediate in Mathematics, Economics and Commerce (MEC) at Social Welfare Junior College, Gowlidoddi in Hyderabad.
Manogna hails from remote Mancherial district. Her father is a reporter in a vernacular daily while mother is an Anganwadi teacher.
Sankeertana of Karimnagar district is daughter of a farmer while Krishnaveni, a resident of Hyderabad is the daughter of a van driver.
While three girls are from the scheduled castes, fourth one belongs to a backward class family.
The girls struggled and worked hard to come up to this stage and are aiming to achieve greater heights by pursuing under graduation in a foreign university.
"I want to do a Bachelor of Commerce with finance as the major subject," said Chandana, who scored 961 out of 1,000 marks in Intermediate.
She has now set her eyes on a score of 8 in IELTS to get an international scholarship. "I will be the first from my family to go abroad," said a beaming Chandana.
Her elder brother is physically challenged who can''t walk or talk and is completely bed-ridden. Despite the challenges at home and the meager income of her father, this girl is making all the efforts to realize her dream.
Their college principal A. Sharada is proud of their achievements. "We treat our students like our own children. They put in lot of effort and this is evident from the results. Their inner talents have come out. With the encouragement from the society, the students are doing miracles," she told IANS.
She termed the achievement by the four girls as another feather in the cap. "Our commerce wing is working hard. Our college is already providing NEET and IIT coaching on par with other colleges," she said.
The principal said the alumni of TSWREIS in Australia were encouraging the society to send the merit students for under-graduate studies.
Each student requires Rs.55 lakh to complete the three-year course. As the state government provides scholarships for only post-graduate studies, the society is looking for sponsors for the education of these girls.
Officials say students of the TSWREIS from underprivileged backgrounds are already emerging as toppers in national level competitive exams.
In recent intermediate public exams, it registered an average pass percentage of 89.38 as against the state average pass percentage of 68.86.
TSWREIS under the aegis of the Ministry of Welfare, Government of Telangana has been aworking to place the poorest among the Scheduled Castes in the prosperous orbit through quality education.''
This Society with 268 institutions with 1,50,000 students has been providing quality education in English medium up to graduation.
TSWREIS runs high schools, junior colleges, and degree colleges covering both arts and sciences. This is more girl-centric with 175 institutions giving education to 1,02,720 girls.
This includes 14,000 young women who escaped the clutches of early marriage to pursue higher education.
(Mohammed Shafeeq can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)