Mahender Banothu makes it to IIT Madras, but is too poor to afford the fee

"Education is not a tool for development—individual, community and the nation. It is the foundation for our future. It is empowerment to make choices and emboldens the youth to chase their dreams." — Nita Ambani

For Mahender Banothu, a student hailing from Ghanpur Thanda, a small town in Karimnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, his poor background has become a roadblock in his education. He was able to finish his higher secondary education when Sri Vikas Institutions of Hanamkonda came forward to provide him with financial assistance. He scored 963 marks out of 1,000 in his intermediate exam.

Image source: Telangana Today

With great perseverance and dedication, he managed to secure the 363rd all-India rank in the advanced Joint Entrance Examination 2017 and a seat in the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT).

Shortlisted for Chemical Engineering at IIT Madras (IITM) in the first counselling phase itself, he is struggling to put together the fee for the course and is looking for financial help.

As per the revised fee structure, Mahender will need to pay Rs 2 lakh every year for four years for his education at IIT Madras. His mother Tara Banothu is the only earner in the family after her husband, Hari Lal, died in an accident in 2012.

While studying in Saidapur Zilla Parishad High School till Class X, Mahender had to be accommodated in a modest hostel meant for scheduled tribes. He stood first in the Saidapur mandal with a GPA of 9.

Responding to an article on Mahender's plight by Telangana Today, Telangana's Information Technology Minister KT Rama Rao said in a tweet that the state government is going to help Mahender pursue his education at IIT Madras.

Speaking with Telangana Today, Mahender said,

Though I got a seat in IIT, my financial condition does not permit me to pursue engineering in IIT Madras. My aim is to crack the Civils (Civil Services Examination) and serve the poor. My mother Tara is seeking help from the government and various philanthropists.

In response to both the article and the tweet by the minister, several people including social workers and philanthropists have come forward to provide financial help to him. Mahender can be reached at 7337433613.

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