Through our bursary scheme, we continue to support Mettupalayam school students when they move on to government secondary school. This may be by way of fees, uniforms, school books or simply by recognizing their achievements. This is especially important for the gypsy children who now all continue on with their education rather than dropping out. This month, two of the gypsy children received awards for being first ranked in the exams- Chinnapunna who was in our top year last year, and is therefore in year 6, and Tamilarasan who is now in year 9.
He has been so sucessful in achieving top rank all through his secondary schooling so far that both he and his parents were featured in a full page article in the Indian Times. When he completes his schooling, Tamilarasan wants to be a Government officer so that he can help his people.
Nationally, less than 1% of gypsy children take up education- in our catchment area, we estimate that around 50% come to Mettupalayam school and we continue to encourage and educate parents in the benefits for both themselves and their children. The official description of the gypsy races is Most Backward Class, and there are significant Government payments for those who reach 10th standard and pass their exams. There are also marriage payments for gypsy girls who sucessfully complete 10th standard.