A poor, differently-abled girl who cracks NEET finds a savior in the court so that she can become a doctor
By Prabhat Singh in Ranchi
The judiciary has often provided succor to the poor and the unprivileged. This was illustrated recently when the High Court of Jharkhand came to the rescue of a poor, differently-abled girl who managed the difficult feat of cracking the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medicine but couldn’t pay the fees.
The girl, 19-year-old Anima Minz, comes from a small village in Latehar district, a Maoist-affected area in Jharkhand. After clearing NEET, she got admission calls from Grant Medical College and Sir JJ College in Mumbai. However, she spent sleepless nights worrying about how her family would bear the costs of sending her to Mumbai and buying a demand draft of Rs 64,000 for admission by September 3, 2016.
After the news was highlighted in the media, the High Court of Jharkhand took suo motu cognizance of it. In an order given by Chief Justice Virender Singh and Justice S Chandrashekhar on August 31, 2016, the Court observed: “It is really a matter of concern, when aspirants like Anima Minz have to surrender their hope for want of finances which their family cannot afford. This Court could not stop itself from interfering in the matter and accordingly, takes suo moto cognizance of the news report…and directs the Registry to diarise the same as Public Interest Litigation.”
The Court directed Raj Bala Verma, the chief secretary of the state, to arrange for Rs 64,000 to be deposited in college for Minz. He was further directed to pay a sum of Rs 50,000 to Minz’s father to meet ancillary expenses such as purchase of books, etc.
It is really a matter of concern, when aspirants like Anima Minz have to surrender their hope for want of finances which their family cannot afford. This Court… takes suo moto cognizance of the news report…and directs the Registry to diarise the same as Public Interest Litigation.
—High Court of Jharkhand order
The judges also directed the principle secretary, Welfare Department, Jharkhand, to explore all modes through which assistance could be rendered to Minz for pursuing her studies. The Court asked the respondents to act promptly, keeping in mind the time frame of September 3 by which she had to deposit the money in college. Jharkhand Chief minister Raghubar Das also awarded Rs 1 lakh to Minz.
Minz had a tough life as her father, Basudev Minz, who works at a construction site in Kerala, had migrated from Champa village in Mahuadanr Block in Latehar, Jharkhand, in 1995 with his children for fear of Maoists and had settled in Surguja district of Chhattisgarh. Anima Minz said: “Although I was born and brought up in Chhattisgarh, I neither had the caste certificate nor the resident certificate of the state.” This resulted in her failing to get enrolled in Class IX.
The family, therefore, returned to the village in 2010. Polio-affected Minz did her matriculation from Saraswati Sishu Mandir in Mahuadanr block and then took admission in St Joseph School run by missionaries, also in Mahuadanr. Due to lack of proper guidance and unavailability of funds for tuitions, Anima failed to clear XI standard.
But she got lucky as in 2014, Manoj Kumar, director of Super 30 in Ranchi, an innovative education program, heard of Minz from her principals and took her under his wing. Not only did he take care of all her expenses but made her clear her intermediate exams and NEET.
A little help can, at times, go a long way.