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Hope floats for IIT aspirant

The Govt wakes up to the plight of Orissa's Balram Tudu, a victim of postal bungling, writes Soumyajit Pattnaik.

india Updated: Sep 12, 2006 02:56 IST

Taking note of a Hindustan Times report, the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs has requested the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to look into the matter of Balram Tudu, a tribal student who missed out on his IIT dream due to an alleged postal bungling.

The Hindustan Times had on Thursday reported that a Speed Post from IIT-Kharagpur announcing the dates for counselling had not been delivered to Tudu. As a result, he had missed the counselling session and, under the rules, lost his seat in the institute.

National Commission for STs secretary KK Gupta said: "If whatever has appeared in the Hindustan Times on Balram Tudu is correct, we will make sure that justice is done to him." Bharat Lal, director, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, repeated the same line, adding: "We compliment HT for reporting the case. We have written to the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to look into the matter."

The National Commission for STs, according to sources, may summon officials in the postal department as well as at IIT-Kharagpur to get a clear picture. Ministry officials contacted Tudu on Monday and asked him to send them all the details at the earliest. "I will be sending the details today itself," Tudu said, adding: "But of course, I'm not sending my documents through the postal department anymore."

The postal department too has wrapped up its probe. Suvendu Swain, director of postal services, said: "The Speed Post for Balram Tudu from IIT-Kharagpur came on June 9 and it was taken for delivery by the postman the same day. When the postman went to Tudu's place, he was not available. The postman left a message with his friends, who were staying with him. The postman went back the next day but still could not find Tudu.

According to the rules, the postman was not required to go to Tudu's place for a second time and an article sent by Speed Post cannot be handed over to the friends of an addressee.

Only parents, siblings and relatives can receive it on behalf of the addressee. Under the rules, we kept the mail at the post office for seven days. Then we sent it back to IIT- Kharagpur where it was received on June 19." But according to Tudu, when he visited IIT-Kharagpur, the authorities there told him the mail had not been returned.

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