Seventeen-year-old medical aspirant Anita S decided to end her struggle on Friday, a few months after the Supreme Court dismissed a petition filed by her and a few other students against the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET).
Daughter of a daily wage labourer, Anitha, who belonged to the Scheduled Caste, would have qualified for a MBBS seat had admissions been held on the basis of Plus Two marks. She was reportedly dejected over not being able to join a medical college and ended her life when family members were away.
"Anitha was found hanging by one of her brothers in an inner hall in her house around 3 pm. She allegedly committed the act when her father and siblings were out for work. Family members rushed to her house, and lowered her to the ground before we arrived on the spot. We suspect that she was under depression since the court verdict came out." said K Karunanidhi, an inspector from Sendurai, who was one of the first to reach the house.
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.
Anitha had scored 1,176 out of 1,200 marks in Class XII and had a cut off of 196.75 for medicine. But she got only 86 marks in the NEET examination. She could not secure MBBS seat as NEET score was the basis for medical counselling this year.
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, advocate 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.
Her suicide sparked a few protests across Tamil Nadu by student organisations and representatives of Dalit parties.
In Chennai, several students were also taken in to custody over the protests and later released.
The daughter of a daily wage worker, Anita reportedly sank into depression after the Supreme Court dismissed the plea against NEET.
Medical college admissions in Tamil Nadu were conducted solely based on the Plus Two examination marks until last year. Though the Central government introduced NEET last year, Tamil Nadu was exempted from it. This year too, the State government sought exemption and the Legislative Assembly passed amendments to continue the existing practice in medical college admissions.
Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier said the Central government would support Tamil Nadu's ordinance, but in the Supreme Court the Centre changed its stand. The Supreme Court on August 22 directed the Tamil Nadu government to complete counselling process for medical admissions in the State on the basis of the NEET merit list by September 4.