Thiruvananthapuram: Sreedhanya Suresh, the tribal girl from Wayanad, who secured the 401st rank in the civil services examinations, owes her success to the support extended by the state government to her studies and training. She has thus become the first adivasi from the state to clear the examinations.
The state government boosted the chances of the SC/ST students by allowing them to choose the coaching institutes of their choice and funded them.
Former SC/ST development principal secretary V. Venu, who was behind the decision, said on Facebook: "Words cannot express my delight in Sreedhanya's success. I dismantled the SC/ ST civil services training institute, with its antiquated training and ghetto approach, and put a new scheme in place, enabling bright youth from the communities to pursue civil services preparation in the institution of their choice, with govt meeting training and accommodation expenses. Sreedhanya's success is testimony to the effectiveness of the new initiative. She availed of funding and studied in Fortune Academy. Although I faced severe criticism, I am vindicated," said Venu.
SC/ST Welfare Minister A.K. Balan also echoed the same views. Sreedhanya was a student of the Kerala State Civil Services Academy in 2016-17. Though she was later admitted to another private training centre, the government provided her financial help for taking part in the main examinations and interview and also gave her pocket money, Balan said.
Unlike previous years, from this year onwards, 300 scheduled caste and scheduled tribe students were provided training with government funding.
Jyothi Radhika Vijayakumar, a faculty at Kerala State Civil Service Academy said in a Facebook post that 31 candidates from the academy cleared the exams. They include Sreelekshmi Ram (rank 29), Renjina Mary Varghese, (49), Arjun Mohan (66),Jishnu J. Raju (132), P. Nidhin Raj (210), P. Vishnuraj ( 234), Suraj Shaji (288), A.B. Silpa (298), Veena S. Suthan ( 299), Arya R. Nair (301), Sooraj Ben (321), Nirmal Ouseppachan, (329), P.P. Archana (34), S. Gautham Raj (353), Muhammed Sajad (390), Divya Chandran (397), and M.P. Amith(405).