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  With no reservation

Today’s New Indian Express has a report on Thakurnagar, a village in Bengal’s 24 Parganas district, where 95% of the population is of the backward classes. Reservations for them by the government in jobs and educational institutions has nearly split the country but Thakurnagar is no admirer of government largesse.

In 1948, Pramatha Ranjan Thakur a Member of Parliament, set up the Thakurnagar High School and things haven’t quite been the same. Without waiting for the government to help it, Thakurnagar has produced 11 IAS and IPS officers, two university Vice Chancellors, four doctors with FRCS and a number of senior civil servants, engineers and other professionals. One of the old boys is a Sahitya Academy Award winning poet and another studied economics under Amartya Sen and Manmohan Singh.

Everyone recalls 1948 and Thakur as the turning point. Now grateful alumni have bought and handed over a 12 acre plot for setting up the St Stephen’s College of Science and Technology.

Maybe the government should get pro-active in setting up elementary and secondary schools instead of throwing sops at under-privileged people.