Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic forced schools to shut down and start online classes, thousands of students suffered due to the inaccessibility of smartphones or stable internet connection. The situation was same for T Sundaramoorthy, who hails from a small village in Ariyalur district of Tamil Nadu. However, no proper access to a smartphone and internet did not stop the 17-year-old from scoring 91 percent in his Class 12 examinations.
Sundaramoorthy studied in a government school till Class 10, but later moved to a private school after an NGO came forward to sponsor his education. He told The New Indian Express, “After I completed Class 11, the State went under a full lockdown and we were suddenly asked to attend classes through smartphones. Our whole family had only one phone, which my 20-year-old brother was using to attend college."
During the lockdown, Sundaramoorthy’s brother would give him the phone in the afternoon. By that time, half of his classes would be over. Moreover, his brother would use most of the data for his own classes, which left Sundaramoorthy with little data to survive on.
When he scored a little over 50 percent in one of his revision tests due to these restrictions, he started to call his teachers every day after the classes to jot down the notes.
Sundaramoorthy scored 541 marks out of 600 after preparing for at least eight hours per day and even scored 93 in Chemistry, which is his favourite subject.
Apart from his own studies, Sundaramoorthy also teaches his 16-year-old sister, who too does not have a smartphone. He takes out a few hours from his schedule each day to help her.
Sundaramoorthy, who has won multiple public speaking competitions at the district level, is also good at sculpting. He told The New Indian Express, “I want to pursue MBBS and have been studying for NEET every day. I do not have enough funds."