THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When N. Binuraj,11, a tribal student came to the city on Friday for the first time in his life along with his parents, they were aghast at the volume of the speeding vehicles. Binuraj was not alone, as five of his tribal friends from Attapadi tribal community had also the same feeling when they came down to join Sainik School Kazhakoottam.
But, they were only too happy to see the new environs at SSK and showed maturity beyond their age. Thanks to ‘Project Shine’, the six tribal students got admission to the sixth standard of SSK after the project volunteers gave free coaching to them in writing the all-India entrance exam and facing the interview.
Until Friday, N. Binuraj, M. Midhin, R. Vishnu, R. Aneesh, B. Hari and B. Sivakumar were tribal students belonging to Government Tribal Vocational Higher Secondary School in Pudur, Government UPS Kottathara and Government UPS Karara. But now they are ‘cadets’ of SSK where their classes would begin on June 3.
They saw their school which is going to be their home for the next seven years. Binuraj who was a student of Government UPS Karara told DC that his ambition was to be an Army officer.
“I was coming to Thiruvananthapuram for the first time. I liked the new school and my friends at Attapadi have asked me to study well,” said Binuraj who has two elder sisters studying in Plus-Two and eighth standard respectively. His father, Nataraj, is a farmer who has plantain, ginger, coffee and arecanut cultivation. He told DC that it was a dream come true for him that Binuraj had come to study in SSK.
“Even I got scared seeing the sea of vehicles plying on the roads. Though I felt dizzy, I was happy that my son is going to get good education,” said Nataraj.
All the tribal students will be getting Scheduled Tribe scholarships of Rs 65,000 provided by the State Government towards tuition fees and living expenses along with the initial expenses of Rs 30, 000 for a year.
Babu Mathew, child psychologist and ‘Project Shine’ convener told DC that if there are more expenses to be met, the Old Boys of SSK will sponsor them.
“These students have been hearing about SSK ever since we started coaching them for the entrance exam for more than a year now. They were really ‘cool’ and had an interaction with the school principal and vice-principal, Col. A. Rajiv and Lt. Cdr. Gireesh Gopidas respectively after they were enrolled”, said Mr. Mathew.
The students will be accommodated at Rajaji House when their school reopens on June 3. ‘Project Shine’ was envisioned to commemorate 25 years of the 1991 batch’s passing out from their alma mater. The initiative has been dedicated to the memory of their batch mate, Shine P. Baby, a lecturer at Rajagiri College, Kalamassery, who passed away in 2006....