The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Poverty and hope clash, some cash in
- Fee drives boy to death

Kalyani, Sept. 8: Sasanka Ghosh, a Class XII student, hanged himself last evening after his father, a tailor, failed to provide him Rs 1,200 to pay the fee for computer classes in school.

Shyamal Ghosh's only son had scored 73 per cent in Madhyamik and was studying science at Kalyani Experimental School. September 8 was the last day for submitting his computer education fees.

'For the past three days, he had been asking for the money. Shyamal had sought some more time from his son,' said Chandan Banerjee, the inspector-in-charge of Chakdah police station, about 40 km from Calcutta.

Last evening, Sasanka insisted that his father gave him the money immediately. Banerjee said Shyamal, who runs a small tailoring shop at Madanpur in Chakdah, slapped his son after that.

Shyamal's two daughters ' Bula and Sangita ' are studying for their Master's degree in Kalyani University. His monthly earning of around Rs 3,000 was hardly enough to bear all the expenses.

Sasanka's mother Sudipa said they were finding it very difficult to bear the cost of education for all the children. 'But that he could do this'.'

After his father slapped him, Sasanka locked himself up in a room and used one of her saris to commit suicide.

Banerjee said the parents realised what had happened only after they broke open the door as he did not respond to their calls for dinner around 10 pm.

'I have lost everything,' Shyamal said today. 'I slapped him as I was helpless' I had no money. I told him I will go to his school and meet the headmaster personally to seek some concession.'

The headmaster, Tapas Majumder, said Sasanka was a good student. 'But he never told us about the financial condition of his family. He also did not apply for free studentship. Maybe he found it humiliating'.'

A family income of less than 5,000 makes a student entitled to apply for the fee waiver in government-aided schools.

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