The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Merit scores over money

Durgapur, July 25: A few days ago, Ranjit Mondol and his father were begging on the streets of Calcutta to collect money for the engineering course at the National Institute of Technology (Deemed University). Today, Ranjit attended his first day in college.

A student of Debnagar MD High School in Kakdwip, South 24-Parganas, Ranjit had scored 757 and ranked 519 in the Joint Entrance Examination. He got admission to the National Institute of Technology after a counselling session at Calcutta’s Asutosh Centenary Hall on July 15.

But lack of funds prompted him and his father to start begging. Ranjit’s father, Tulshi Mondol makes a living by buying and selling old newspapers.

The meritorious student’s financial woes caught the attention of some good Samaritans, just like that of Iti Baidya, who had topped the Madhyamik examinations among girls in 2001 and ranked high in the joint entrance tests to gain a seat in Calcutta Medical College and Hospital. Golden Trust Financial Services has lent Ranjit a helping hand.

“I got to know of their plight last night from a friend who had seen them at the counselling session. Today, I got in touch with Golden Financial Trust Services at their Calcutta office and requested them to help Ranjit get through the four-year course,” said Partha Sengupta, a teacher at the institute and secretary of the teachers’ body.

“This is the first time that our company is providing financial help to an NIT student and we will give him pocket money as well,” said Nimai Saha, the branch manager of the finance company, which has been helping meritorious but poor students in the state.

The same fate awaited Sandip Pal, a student of Durgapur Projects Boys High School. Sandip boasted a Higher Secondary score of 891 — the second highest in the town. But he could not afford to dream of studying at NIT till he stumbled upon some benefactors.

Sandip’s performance attracted the attention of the municipal corporation and the Rotary Club and they gave him Rs 5,000 and Rs 8,500. “The rest of the amount will be borne by the university and a part will come from the alumni fund,” said A.C. Ganguly, director of the institute.

Ranjit, who came to college today accompanied by his tutor, Sudhi Shankar Dey, was all smiles when asked what he wished to do after his stint at the institute. “I hope I do well and get a good job through campus placement,” he said.

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