Palakkad: Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac while presenting the state budget on Friday quoted a few poems written by students. He began his 12th budget speech with a poem by K Sneha, a seventh-grade student of the Government High School at Kuzhalmannam in Palakkad district. Even as the girl from a poor family soon hogged the limelight, she didn't forget to highlight the pathetic condition of her school, but didn't mention a word about her own decrepit home!
Sneha's family lives in a house that is covered with tarpaulin sheets. Her own school could cave in at any time. It currently functions from a private building.
Sneha's social consciousness came to the fore as she pointed to the need to renovate the school.
Isaac vows to repair school
The minister has taken note of Sneha's grievance about the school.
"We will resolve the problems of the Kuzhalmannam Government High School where Sneha is studying. I guarantee that. In case there are any practical hurdles, those would be removed," the finance minister announced.
General Education Director K Jeevan Babu, meanwhile, said Rs 3 crore has been sanctioned from the plan fund and construction of the school building has begun on the land identified by the panchayat.
She wrote the poem quoted by Isaac in May on the instruction of her class teacher Babu. The writing campaign was held by the Kerala Education Department during the COVID-19 lockdown period last year under a programme christened "Akshara Vruksham" (word tree) to whet the creative abilities in students.
Babu had forwarded Sneha's poem to the authorities and eventually it was picked up by the finance minister while drafting the budget. Just before the budget presentation on Friday morning, finance minister's staff broke the good news to her. Until then Sneha and her teachers had almost forgotten about that piece.
Story writing her first love
Sneha was elated and surprised to find her poem getting attention across the state. Though she was noticed through her poem, her first love remains story writing. Her favourite writer is Madhavikutty.
Sneha’s family comprises father Kannan who is a tractor driver, mother Rumadevi and sister Rudra who is a tenth standard student of the Government School at Kuzhalmannam.