Pune: It was a victory for Pune-based orphan Amruta when Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that the State government is mulling enactment of a law for orphan students applying for competitive exams, as per which they will be considered a separate category.
Amruta, an aspiring district administrative officer, had cleared the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) prelims with excellent marks in her first attempt. However, she was disqualified in MPSC mains, as she did not possess documents to back her identity.
“Although I had scored 40 marks in the MPSC prelims, I could not qualify for mains because for open category female the cut-off was 35 marks, but I did not have any documents. Since childhood I have been considered in the open category as I do not know which category I belong to. Therefore, I missed the chance despite having a good score,” said Amruta.
“My only query to the CM was that when there are reservations for specially-abled, backward classes, sports, etc., where do the orphans fall among these? Who and how will it be decided from which category we belong?,” asked Amruta.
Amruta, who is unaware of her roots, has all her life struggled as she was held under the open category. “Due to this, I never received any grants or exemption fees as nobody knew in which category I fall,” said Amruta, who is fond of reading, especially inspirational stories.
Amruta was brought up in Matruchhaya orphanage in Goa. When she turned 18, she had to leave the orphanage and start all by herself. “Every orphanage takes the responsibility of any orphan only until 18 years. Later, they are left to survive by themselves. I was given an option to either get married or leave the orphanage,” she said.
Amruta then came to Pune in 2011 to pursue Higher Secondary Education, during which time she lived on a platform at Shivajinagar railway station, did odd jobs to support her education and then moved to Ahmednagar to pursue Std 12. She did her graduation in Bachelors in Economics from Ahmednagar and came back to Pune to pursue Masters in Economics. Amruta still works at different places to support her education and attends night college.
Speaking about her passion to become a civil servant, Amruta said, “I have been asked several questions on my identity, mocked and teased because I am an orphan. I wanted to create my own identity and make a place in society. Also, the conditions I faced in my life, many others do, in order to help them, I want to be in the system and make changes in perception of people in the society.”
On January 10, the CM announced that the government is planning to enact a law where orphans appearing for competitive exams will be in a separate category. He was attending an award function for journalists in Mumbai.