Doctor to fund entire education of IIT BHU Dalit student who lost seat due to financial constraints

The Allahabad HC has asked the Centre and state governments to furnish details on any schemes that might benefit deserving students who lose out on education opportunities due to economic stress
Pic: Edexlive
Pic: Edexlive

In a heartwarming gesture, Dr Sonal Chauhan, Consulting MD at Mumbai's Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children, has come forward to finance the studies of Sanskriti Rajan, a Dalit student who had recently petitioned the Allahabad High Court after losing her IIT BHU seat due to non-payment of her admission fee. 

On November 30, a single judge bench headed by Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh had offered to clear the admission dues of the student to the tune of Rs 15,000. This he had done after taking inspiration from a recent case in the Supreme Court, where another Dalit student's IIT Bombay seat was reinstated after he lost it due to a technical error. In that case, the bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud had said that it would be a grave travesty of justice if a deserving young Dalit boy is denied the right to study in a premier institution for no fault of his. 

The student, Sanskriti, who had secured a 1469 Scheduled Caste rank in JEE Advanced, was unable to pay the seat acceptance fee on the website as her father had just been diagnosed with chronic kidney failure and needed the money for an urgent transplant. Having fallen short of the required amount, the student had approached the Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA) multiple times for some remedial measure, but had received no response. Once the final date of fee payment lapsed, she lost her seat and then appealed to the High Court for assistance.

"Considering the facts of the present case, where a young bright Dalit girl student has come before this court seeking equity jurisdiction to enable her to pursue her dream of getting admitted in an IIT, this court on its own has volunteered to contribute Rs 15,000, the fee for allocation of the seat. The said amount has been handed over to the petitioner after court hours today itself," said the court's order.

The student was asked to present her official documents for verification at IIT BHU within three days in order to confirm her admission. On December 6, the court was informed that the student's admission had been completed. The counsel also said that Dr Chauhan had come forward to pay for Sanskriti's entire course at IIT BHU, where she is going to pursue a five-year dual course of Bachelor and Master of Technology. The student reportedly expressed her deepest gratitude towards the doctor. It was also reported that several other members of the civil society had volunteered to sponsor the student's education.

The High Court went on to state that this might not be an isolated incident of a talented student qualifying an entrance exam to study in one of the top institutes in the country, but simply not having the resources to pursue their education. The court has asked both the state and the central government to place on record details of any schemes that exist to support the education of such students. The deadline for this submission is December 20.

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