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Unable to pay for coaching, Chhattisgarh state board topper puts IIT dreams on hold

Shivkumar Pandey scored 98.4% to top the class 12 state board exam. He hoped to study in IIT, and play cricket for the country.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2018 11:21 IST
Ritesh Mishra
Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Raipur
Chhattisgarh,Chhattisgarh state board topper,IIT
Shivkumar Pandey has enrolled in a BSc course in a college in Durg. His elder brother, who was studying engineering in Durg, dropped out of college due to the family’s financial crisis.(HT Photo)

Shivkumar Pandey, Chhattisgarh class 12 state board topper this year has no money to enroll in an engineering college or prepare for IIT. A cash crunch has forced him to take admission in BSc course in a college in Durg, about 70 km from his hometown of Simga and put his IIT dreams on the backburner.

Shivkumar topped with 98.40% marks among 3.6 lakh students in the Chhattisgarh board, but his father cannot afford the money for him to study engineering because of an acute financial crisis.

“I wanted to do coaching of IIT and then after getting my admission in IIT, I wanted to play cricket for the country. But since, I cannot afford preparation of IIT, I decided to go for BSc. I know my father is suffering from acute financial crisis but he always encouraged me for studies,” Shivkumar told Hindustan Times.

“If my father had money, I would have tried for IIT. Even after doing my IIT, I want to play cricket for the nation,” he added.

But there is still a sliver of hope for the teenager with the collector of Baloda Bazar district saying the government will pitch in to help him chase his academic dreams.

“I visited his house when he topped the exams in April. Then he had said that he wanted to pursue career in cricket and now he is saying a different thing. But even after that we will support him so that he can achieve his dreams,” said Janak Pathak, collector Baloda Bazar.

Shivkumar’s family lives in a rented house in Simga town, about 58 km south of Raipur. His elder brother who was studying engineering had to drop out of college this year.

“My elder son was also doing engineering in Durg but had to drop out because of our condition,” said the father, Mankamana Prasad Pandey.

Pandey an agent of life insurance corporation (LIC) in Simga and earns Rs 10000-Rs 12000 per month. “I earn less money but I want my kids to study. Shivkumar is a genius but I cannot afford his coaching for IIT,” he said.

But he has managed to put him in a cricket academy in Durg.

Pandey says he had appealed to chief minister Raman Singh on May 31 for financial help for his sons’ studies, but there has been no response from the government.

Pandey is also a photographer and shoots mainly for private ceremonies to meet his kids’ dream in the area.

Chhattisgarh government provides ‘motivation amount’ to the toppers of the state but after the final list comes out. “We have got no support from the government till now. The motivation money will be provided in September,” Mankamana added.

Shivkumar is still better off than 2017 Chhattisgarh topper Dhavendra Kumar who had to sell vegetables because of his family’s financial precarious condition. Dhavendra scored 98.6% marks. After media his plight, he got the government’s support and now enrolled in the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS).

First Published: Jun 12, 2018 11:21 IST