Arunachal IAS officer starts crowd funding to send students to DU
Despite scoring 89.4% in his Class 12 board exams, Longsam Sapong didn’t have big plans for further studies. His family’s weak financial status and lack of proper support made him curtail his dreams.
But thanks to a crowd funding initiative by an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, this 20-year old from a village in Bordumsa in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh and two others like him are on their way to Delhi University for their under graduate studies.
“Despite having 10% of Arunachal’s population, the Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts have just around 2% representation in the state civil services. These districts are insurgency affected and level of education and opportunities is lower,” said Devansh Yadav, deputy commissioner, Changlang.
“Bright students from these districts are not able to pursue their studies outside the state due to lack of proper guidance and financial issues. Therefore, we decided to start this initiative,” he added.
Yadav, got in touch with Bunnem Tangha, an employee of the women and child development department in the state who had studied in Delhi University to search for deserving candidates who needed help to pursue their higher studies.
Tangha was able to find six students of which three district toppers-Longsam Sapong (89.4%), Senthung Yangchang (89.2%) and Leecha Haisa (80.6%)-were selected. With help from Yadav and Tangha, the students have been able to secure admissions in Delhi University where all three would be pursuing Political Science (Hons.)
“It was easy to find the students, but difficult to convince them and their parents to apply to Delhi University. The two girls-Leecha and Senthung-were worried about crimes against women in national capital,” said Tangha.
“But I gave them my example and told them how studying in Delhi would help them get more opportunities, which in turn could help their families as well. I told them about all the pros and cons. Now all of them are excited,” she added.
Sapong, whose family is engaged in farming, was planning to join a college in Arunachal’s capital Itanagar is now looking forward to his stint in Delhi College of Arts and Commerce where he has secured admissions.
“I was planning to go to Guwahati for studies. I was scared of going to Delhi as I had read that it was not a safe place for women. But Tangha madam convinced me and right now I am looking forward to going there” said Senthung, whose mother runs a small grocery shop in Changland to help run the family.
Yadav has been able to arrange for a hostel in Delhi where the three will stay. But to cover their college fees, money needed for food and transportation costs to cover the entire three years of their stay, he launched the crowd funding drive on Twitter on October 26.
“We have been able to collect Rs 1.3 lakhs. We will try to help as many students as possible depending on how much money is collected. This initiative will continue in coming years,” said Yadav.