Yet, he scored 89 per cent in his Class 10 examination. He is now a second-year student at the Government Industrial Training Institute (ITI), Ambattur.
He was one of the 113 students who were awarded scholarships totalling more than 2 lakh by the Sri Vidyasagar Educational Trust here on Sunday.
Arun Kumar’s parents work as construction labourers in Theni. He wants to finish the ITI diploma and pursue engineering and says that the scholarship would act as an encouragement.
The scholarship schemes of the Trust are open to students in engineering or vocational courses in recognised ITIs in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts.
M. Renuka, a student at the Government Guindy ITI, said that she will use the money to buy all the course material required for the year. Her parents are farmers in Villupuram district.
“Without assistance, they will have to borrow money and will get into debt,” she says.
Iravatham Mahadevan, chairman of the Sri Vidyasagar Educational Trust, said that it was disappointing that only six of the 50 ITIs in the region nominated students for the scholarships.
“We hope that in the coming years, there would be better response so that more meritorious students benefit,” he added.
Former Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta said that it was fitting that the event was organised at Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya.
Mahatma Gandhi laid the foundation stone of the school in 1946. Mr. Gupta asked the students to derive inspiration from Gandhi and work towards an inclusive society.