Both the parents of this tribal girl are illiterate but fortunately they never stopped their girl child from going to school, though it meant walking up to 12km to reach the school. But her determination and perseverance has now paid off.
Anita Baraskar, 23, a resident of village Jhapal in Betul district, about 65km from Betul district headquarters, after attaining post graduation degree in chemistry has now been selected under Foreign Study Scheme for tribal students being run by tribal welfare department of MP government. Under the scheme, she would complete her PhD in Nuclear Engineering from England. However, the university where she would get admission is yet to be decided. Under the scheme, state government would bear the cost of her lodging and boarding, tuition fee, admission fee, insurance premium, air ticket, visa duty and $1,000 contingency fund.
Before she sets foot in England, administration is also preparing her to have a working knowledge of English language. She has been enrolled in a coaching class at Harda town and arrangements made for her stay in a government-run hostel.
Talking to HT over phone, Anita said she was six-year-old when a teacher — Munnu Lal-posted at government school Jhapal asked her to join school and start studies. “I used to take cattle out for grazing as my mother and both my brothers used to work as labourer to earn bread and butter for the family. One day, Munnu Sir met me and suggested that I should join the school. I shared this idea with my family members and they allowed me to go to school.”
Besides Anita, no one from her family, in fact from among her relatives too, went to school so far. “My father is handicapped, therefore my both elder brothers did not go to school and they started working with mother,” she said.
After completing primary and middle school education in village’s government school, she got admission in high school Ratanpur, that is 12 km away from her village. She, later, took admission in government higher secondary school in Timarni town. She completed her Bachelor of Science (Bio) and Master of Science (Chemistry) from government PG College Harda.
“I had not imagined that I would get such a big opportunity for higher studies. I will use this opportunity to the optimum and come back to my country,” said Anita.