For first time in 100 yrs, Dalit student tops KGMU

VandanaVandana

For a medical university that has been in news time and again for alleged discrimination against Dalit students, King George Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow, is all set to award its most prestigious awards to a student belonging to Schedule Caste — for the first time in over 100 years of its history.

Vandana, an MBBS student of SC category of 2008 batch, has topped the university and bagged a total of 17 medals, including the most prestigious Hewett Gold Medal and Chancellor's Gold Medal, apart from two other gold medals for academic excellence.

The medals would be bestowed upon Vandana in the ninth convocation ceremony of the university Sunday.

The Hewett Gold medal is awarded by the varsity for obtaining highest marks in Final Professional MBBS Part II examination whereas Chancellor's medal is given for obtaining highest aggregate marks in MBBS.

Confirming that Vandana is the first student from SC category to get the top two gold medals, KGMU Vice-Chancellor Prof DK Gupta said: "In the last 100 years, we saw no student from SC category get an award (in academics)...I am very happy that this student (Vandana) bagged both the gold medals this year."

Vandana maintained that her achievement is more of an individual success, which she owes to her family rather than a story of community struggle and victory.

"I do not really relate to 'Dalit struggle' because I have had the good fortune of getting excellent education and my parents and siblings have been very supportive," Vandana, youngest of the three children of Harish Chandra Ram, a PWD junior engineer, told The Sunday Express.

Even in the past, Vandana has proved herself as a meritorious student with an outstanding 91 per cent marks in 10th and 89.64 per cent in 12th.

After completing schooling from Lucknow Public School, Vandana got 37th rank in SC category in medical entrance examination which secured her a seat at KGMU.

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