S Anitha, the 17-year-old Dalit girl who was the face of the fight against NEET, took her life on Friday just over a week after Supreme Court ruled that medical college admissions in Tamil Nadu will be based on the national admission test.
Anita, who had scored 1,176 marks out of 1,200 in the plus two exams under the Tamil Nadu state board, was however not able to score high marks in the NEET to secure a medical seat, and committed suicide as she was not able to get a medical seat, her relatives said.
Hailing from a village in Ariyalur district, around 300 km from here, she was the daughter of a daily labourer. If admissions were made this year based on plus two marks then Anitha, a state board student from Tamil medium would have been the first doctor from her community in her entire village of Kuzhumur.
She even went to the Supreme Court last month seeking stay for NEET based admissions in the state run medical colleges saying it would shatter the aspirations of many rural students. But she chose to finally give up after admissions were made based on NEET this year.
The Supreme Court implead Anitha as a respondent against the petition filed by Nalini Chidambarama, dvocate and wife of former union finance minister P Chidambaram. She had urged the Apex Court to direct the state government to admit students in the medical colleges based on NEET.
The state government had maintained till the last minute but failed to ensure NEET exception this year which led to NEET based admissions in the state. Ariyalur superintendent of police Abhinav Kumar confirmed that Anitha had committed suicide by hanging herself at home. Though she could not crack NEET but a meritorious student from poor dalit family, she had secured 1176 marks in the plus two exam this year. With a medical cutoff of 196.75 she was assured of a seat if admissions would have been made based on the plus two marks.
Anitha studied in an aided school till class 10. Among the toppers in the district, she could have got admitted to a self-financing school with partial fee waiver.
In a statement issued here, former Union Minister and PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss blamed the central and the state governments for the tragedy.
Expressing his condolences to Anita’s parents, he said the state government headed by Chief Minister K.Palaniswami and the central government should accept responsibility for her death as they had initially assured that Tamil Nadu will get one year exemption from NEET.
The PMK leader said he was not able to understand as to why Anita who took up the cause of rural students against NEET would commit suicide.