Kalkothi Tribal Girl – The New Indian Express


Express news service

COIMBATORE: Even as a few students in tribal hamlets drop out of school for lack of encouragement, a 19-year-old girl in Kalkothi, a tribal village near Madvarayapuram, is becoming the first graduate in her community. A final year student in computer science at Government College in Valparai, T Sandhiya comes from the community of Mudugar and is the first from her institution to enter university.

“I grew up seeing the difficulties faced by my widowed mother, who works as a day laborer, and I decided that education would change our lives. I was determined not to give up like the other students in my hamlet”, Sandhiya said.

With the help of Good Samaritans, she obtained admission to the government college of Valparai and remained at the university foyer. Whenever she comes home, Sandhiya accompanies her 60-year-old mother to work as a farm laborer. “I earn Rs 250 a day which helps the family.” she added. In addition, she gives classes for the students of her camp.

Speaking to TNIE, G Ramkumar, coordinator of the NGO Siruvani Vizhuthugal, said: “We regularly organize awareness sessions and distribute stationery materials to students in the tribal settlements. That’s when we spotted Sandhiya. We pooled 5,000 rupees for her university admission.

Although Sandhiya studied Tamil at school, she was able to cope with teaching English at university. She said her classmates helped her dispel her doubts and improve her English skills. She could now understand C ++, Java, Python programming. Sandhiya aims to take the competitions after completing her university studies.


Sam D. Gomez