Published: 26th August 2021
Students belonging to Katunayakan community waiting for caste certificates to pursue higher studies
Students and parents say they do not have the means to pursue higher education in private colleges if the certificate is not given and that the matter has been ongoing for some years now
As revenue department officials delay issuing caste certificates to students belonging to Katunayakan community, they are worried about their admission for higher studies through the reserved quota. "Nearly 40 families from Andhra and Karnataka came and settled in Thiyagadurugam four decades back. I am one among them, and my family stayed near Virudachalam for few years, when I studied primary school there. I wasn't able to continue my studies after Class VI due to my family's economical situation. Now my elder son is studying third year undergraduation in a private college at Kallakurichi, because he wasn't able to get a seat in government colleges," said K Kaliappan of Thiyagadurugam in Kallakurichi district.
He continued, "After completing his schooling, we tried for caste certificate for him. Though it was mentioned that I belong to Katunayakan community in my school transfer certificate, officials refused to give the caste certificate to my son. So, I took a loan and arranged money for his admission and expenditure for his studies. Now, he is going to finish his undergraduation by this academic year, and for his higher studies he needs the caste certificate as I can't afford private colleges from my small income."
"My father spent all his savings for my brother's studies. Now, I have also completed Class XII and wish to do nursing. People rarely pursue higher studies from my community, but non availability of caste certificate is a barrier for the next step in my career. Already we have struggled a lot to reach this spot, and I need the caste certificate to get a seat under quota and also other schemes offered by government for our community," said Kaliappan's daughter Bhuvaneswari.
Another girl student from same village, K Kiruba said, "I have applied for undergraduation commerce group in government college. If I won't get a caste certificate, it will be difficult to get admission under schedule tribe quota. My father and grandfather, couldn't continue their studies after primary classes. I am the first one to complete higher secondary from my family and it's in the officials' hands, whether I will continue my studies or not."
"From my village itself, twelve petitions requesting caste certificates, are pending in revenue department office. But officials keep delaying without any proper reasons. Our relatives staying in Karunapuram, Raja Nagar in Kallakurichi town, Elvanzurkottai, Sankarapuram, Ulundurpet and Tirukoilur in Kallakurichi district are also waiting to get caste certificates. But, relatives in Cuddalore district got the certificate few years back and are using it to access government schemes. I request district collector to take action and issue certificates soon for my children," said Kaliappan.
Speaking to Express, senior official from Kallakurichi tahsildar office said that they yet to receive the applications through proper channel. He further said, after receiving the application, they will check the documents credibility and after inspection, the certificate will be issued, if everything is clear.