Kandhamal district Dalit girl high school topper forced too collect seeds of sal, jackfruit and dried mango kernels to sell instead of college education
Bhubaneshwar,July12:She scored more than 91% in this year’s high school certificate examination and should have started classes at one of the several plus two colleges in Odisha state capital Bhubaneswar.
However, Karisma Digal, a Dalit girl from Bahulmaha village in Kandhamal district, has been going to the forest with her mother to collect seeds of sal, jackfruit and dried mango kernels to sell in the local market, Odia daily Sambad reported today. Her father, Senapati Digal, is a labourer who travels to Baliguda town every day to work for daily wages.
Digal, student of a residential school for SC/ST students in Nuagaon block of Kandhamal got an A-1 grade in the results announced in April. No one in Digal’s panchayat has scored such high marks in the matric exam.
Lack of any financial resources stopped Digal from joining a top-notch college in Bhubaneswar to study science though she received a call from an institute. “I thought she would stand on her own legs after higher studies. But now that looks difficult,” the girl’s father told the daily.
Kandhamal district collector Brudha D did not say how the administration planned to help the girl. However, a local NGO, Banabasi Seba Samity, has offered to bear the cost of her education. Rabindra Panda of the NGO said he would send a team to the girl’s family to find out details about her requirements.