Published: 01st June 2019
Pig farmer's daughter writes to Prez, PM after Kendriya Vidyalaya refuses to give her an application form over unpaid hostel dues
The girl was asked to take permission from the principal, on leave till June 6, to get the application that had to be submitted by May 30
Yerikala Supriya, a 15-year-old daughter of a pig farmer from Gooty, a small town in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, has dreamt of becoming an IAS officer since she was in Class V. But Kendriya Vidyalaya, ASC Centre in Bengaluru, where she just completed her Class 10 from, has refused her an application form to enter the eleventh grade - for want of Rs 38,000.
Supriya, a member of the Yerikala community, a scheduled tribe, joined KV, ASC Centre on June 23, 2018. Her father, Yerikala Sudhakar who had a pig farm, could only afford to pay his daughter's hostel fees till August 2018. He now owes the school Rs 38,000. "The municipality asked him to shut down the farm as the pigs might spread swine flu. Sudhakar somehow manages to sustain his family now. He also has a son studying in a government school here," said Nagaraj, Sudhakar's brother.
Supriya had written to the President of India and sent a copy of her letter to the Vice President, the Prime Minister, Governor of Karnataka, Ministry of Human Resource Development, the Minister for Tribal Affairs, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Deputy Commissioner, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Bangalore and the Principal, Kendriya Vidyalaya, ASC Centre. But has received no response. "My father had gone to Delhi as well but they said that they couldn't do anything because the elections were on. Even though I can speak Hindi and English, my father speaks only Telugu, thus the language barrier is also a big issue," added Supriya. The family had also approached local administration, state government and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs but in vain.
Sudhakar earns Rs 300 on an average a day. The girl was, allegedly, mentally tormented by the warden and hostel in-charge because of her inability to pay the fee, as well. "The warden used to publicly humiliate me. The Principal too visited the hostel once and hinted that if I do not pay the fees, actions will be taken. But he did not take my name," said Supriya. "These mental tortures weighed in on me and I wasn't able to perform up to my potential," she added. Supriya scored a 60.6 per cent in her Class 10 boards.
She was allowed to complete her board exams from the hostel but the hostile behaviour did not change. "The authorities were rude to them when Sudhakar went to get her from the hostel after her exams got over. They asked him to pack all her belongings and not leave anything behind," added Nagaraj.
Sudhakar went back to the school with her daughter on May 20, 2019, once the admission dates were announced. But was shocked when the authorities denied her even the application form. "They literally closed the gate on us. We were told that they could not give us the forms without the principal's consent and he will be back only after June 6 but the last date of admission was May 30. I want to study in a CBSE school as that will broaden my scope and take me a step closer to my dream but my father cannot afford to send me to a private school," said the distraught girl.