'Churmuri' vendor's daughter among toppers

Top medal grossers at the 93rd convocation of the University of Mysore on Friday make for a story of grit and determination. Interestingly, most of them are from rural background who had to brave many odds to achieve academic success


 
Vanitha H R of Hootagalli on the outskirts has bagged the highest of 12 medals and four cash prizes in MSc Chemistry. Akshatha M of Nanjangud in the district, has eight medals and two cash prizes to her credit in MA Kannada. Manju H P of Hadinaaru village of Mysore district has secured six medals in MA Folklore. Shruthiranjani M T of Vidyaranyapuram in the city has secured five each gold medals and cash prizes in Bachelor of Performing Arts, while Sujan Kumar D from Hassan has won five medals and four cash prizes in BA.

When she found her name in the list of top medal winners, Vanitha was surprised. She’s also given a fitting reply for the humiliation she had suffered at the hands of many for having studied primary education in Kannada medium. Her joy knew no bounds.

A student of Government Maharani’s Science College for Women here, Vanitha scored 92 pc in post-graduation studies in Chemistry. Vanita’s father H Rangaswamy, who runs a packaging industry, still recalls the days he had to struggle to obtain a seat in Science (PCMB) for PUC for his daughter at Government PU College at People’s Park in the city.

After much deliberation, Vanitha was given a seat, but with a rider. “I was told that my daughter might find it difficult to cope, as she has studied in Kannada medium,” said Rangaswamy.

Vanitha said that even at tuitions, she was advised not to take CET for the same reason. Vanitha didn’t take CET and her parents too were unaware of it. Vanitha who cleared National Entrance Test (NET) conducted in December 2012 by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) by securing 56th rank, is now doing her PhD in Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore. She still aspires to take up IAS exams.

Akshatha is the first to reach the pinnacle of academic success in the family. While her father is illiterate, her mother has studied up to eight standard. Her father ekes out a living by selling ‘churmuri’ (street food) at Chamalapura beedhi in Nanjangud town.

When she couldn’t get a seat for MA in Kannada at Manasagangotri (for, her marks in degree was lesser than the cut off marks), she had to look at JSS Women’s College at Chamarajanagar. She travelled 72 km (Nanjangud-Chamarajanagar-Nanjangud) everyday. She has scored 89.7 pc in MA.

Though her grandmother wanted her married off, her parents encouraged her to study further. The couple had to borrow Rs 50,000 at 10 pc rate of interest from money-lenders to pay for her PG studies. Akshatha is now working as a guest lecturer at Government PU College in her home town. She hopes to clear UGC-NET exams, as she has written the recently held exams on June 30.

Manju H P is the son of agriculturists Puttaiah and Nagamma couple. After having cleared his PG in top order, he is now looking forward to take up research for PhD in folklore. In his degree exams (BA in HKF) he had to be content for 57 per cent. In PG, he sprang a surprise by scoring 90 pc.

For Shruthiranjani, music is in her genes. Her father Thandavamurthy is a violinist at the Karnataka Police Band (earlier Palace Orchestra) in the city. She has given several concerts. Recently, Shruthiranjani participated in the eighth world music conference at Singapore. She is now doing her second year Master’s in University College of Fine Arts.

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