Fifty-six students from poor families in 31 rural districts have benefited from the Support the Advancement of Rural Students Scheme (STARS) implemented by VIT University, Vellore.
Under this scheme the VIT provides free admission to one boy and one girl each who topped the Plus Two examinations from the government schools in the rural areas in each of the 31 districts of Tamil Nadu, excluding Chennai.
Annalakshmi, a student of the Government Higher Secondary School, Kandamanur village in Theni, who had obtained 1118 marks was given admission in B. Tech. IT.
Her father Chinnamurugan, a coolie-cum-cattle grazer, said that she is the second graduate in their family.
Bhoopalan, student of Periyar Ramasamy HSS in Nagarasampatti in Krishnagiri district who obtained 1118 marks is the son of Kamalesan, a washerman. The third graduate in their family, he got admission in B.Tech. (EEE). Nandini of Vanaramutti Higher Secondary School in Tuticorin district who obtained 1132 marks is the daughter of Paramasivan, a tea stall employee.
Five of the students who were admitted under the STARS Scheme, one each from Tirunelveli, Madurai, Tirupur, Kancheepuram and Nagapattinam districts, were sponsored by Agaram Foundation run by actor Surya.