Stories from the South: Abirama

I’m Abirami’s mother. My daughter studied
until 5th standard in a government school in this village. From six to twelve, she went to a convent school in Karur. In tenth standard, she got 416 marks, which is excellent and
she took biology as higher secondary subject. For higher secondary, she got marks of almost 1011, which was also very good. We were trying to get her admitted into a government college but there were a lot of people applying. My daughter went for counselling and advice and though some possibilities existed with private institutions,
I preferred that my daughter would remain nearby, in Karur itself. Now she is in school with a hospital, Child of Jesus, run by nuns, and which is very high quality and strict on discipline. One of the main advantages is that, while she studies, the placement afterwards is also arranged, inside the same hospital. The main problem she faces is that before, she learned everything in Tamil, our local language, and now she had to switch to
everything being in English, which is very difficult. All those subjects like anatomy are tricky to learn in English. The first year exams are coming up 15th of August
so she has to study really a lot. During the year, there have been two internal exams, and so far,
results have been good, except for two subjects out of the eight,
where she didn’t meet the pass mark, on foundation,
where she got 48% and anatomy, where she scored 49%. This hospital has been established in 1972, very big, with all the specialized departments,
one of the biggest in this district. The convent is very concerned with its reputation, so they are very strict. The school is run by nuns who are very strict,
because they believe there is a lot of violence outside for girls
or bad influences. Only once a month, the first Sunday, I can go and see my daughter, though we need to be back at the school by 5pm. Admission for each year is 60.000Rps (750€) for nursing students. I had to take a bank loan to help. According to Indian rules, the bank can only give us 45.000Rps (560€),
though the interest still has to be paid on the full
amount of 60.000Rps. We will have to start reimbursement at the end of the four years training. I had to find the 15.000Rps by myself,
which was very complicated. Fortunately, SWATE helped me to purchase study materials, books, uniform, which are not included
in the admission fee. If SWATE wouldn’t have helped me, I would have needed to borrow from moneysharks, who charge very high interest rates. When she finishes her studies, my daughter will have to start working, to be able to repay the loan. It is a big amount and it will be difficult to manage. Both my daughter and I will have to work to pay back. I am very grateful to my Belgian friends,
because education is such an important thing in a girl’s life. Getting support from the outside, especially from so far away, allows us to try and make the best of ourselves. If not, we wouldn’t be able to aim for such high quality education because of financial constraints and that would have been sad,
so this help from Belgium is very important for me.

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