Amit and Sumit, sons of a tea-stall owner here, have cleared the JEE for the second time. Amit’s rank is 2,014 and Sumit’s 809. Last year, their poverty came in the way of their admission to IIT. There is fear that it may happen again this year.
“Sumit was allotted civil engineering at IIT Roorkee, I was allotted architecture in IIT Khargapur, but we could not arrange the fee,” said Amit, the elder of the two.
Their father Jitender Kumar, who runs a tea stall at Laddewali railway crossing, said, “I tried to borrow money, but the interest was too much. So, I asked my sons to try next year. But unfortunately, I met with an accident just 15 days before the exam this year and whatever we had saved was spent on my treatment.”
“In fact, my sons had to run the stall for days just before the exam at the cost of their studies,” said their mother, Manju Devi.
The parents, who come from the Sitamarhi district of Bihar, belong to a scheduled caste community. Neither had passed even high school, but they are keen on their sons studying and doing well.
Ever since the IIT result was declared on Thursday, the family is worried instead of celebrating. The two brothers need Rs 40,000 each immediately. The total fee of the entire course is Rs 3 lakh for each, apart from other expenses.
On Friday, there was some hope when Punjab’s Education Minister, Daljeet Singh Cheema, said he would arrange financial help. Cheema met them at Circuit House and said he was proud of them.
In fact, the boys did not know about IITs or JEE till class XI. They got to know from their friends, appeared in JEE, and cracked it in the very first attempt in 2013, without any outside help. Sumit’s rank was 1,800 and Amit’s 1,600.
“We wanted to study in an English medium school, but in our schools (both studied in government schools), no teacher was available to teach us in English. So, we bought the books of our subjects in both English and Hindi. By studying from both books and comparing, we learned English,” said Amit.
Amit studied at Doaba Khalsa School and Sumit at Laddowali Government Model Senior Secondary School. Last year, Amit scored 86 per cent and Sumit 87.8 per cent at the senior secondary level.
Moved by their story and impressed by “their enthusiasm”, Ranjan Pathak, director of Victory Classes, a coaching institute, provided them free coaching and guidance this time. Sumit said that their school teachers had also helped them a lot.
On Friday, the first question to the AAP was related to its “anti-national activities”.