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Crowdfunding: Dalit rapper raises lakhs to study in Oxford University

Bhubaneswar: Sumit Samos Turuk, a rapper from Odisha has arranged to gather Rs 37 lakh by crowdfunding to proceed with a course at Oxford University. Sumit, who hails from Narayanpatna in the Koraput district, had applied for a Master’s Degree (MSc) in Modern South Asian Studies in Oxford’s St Antony’s College in November 2020. He was shortlisted in January 2021. However, the course payment for the one-year program is Rs 25 lakh, excluding the other costs amounting to Rs 15 lakh.

Sumit, who is the son of a primary school teacher, could only arrange approximately Rs 4 lakh for the studies.
It was then that some friends advised the 26-year-old to attempt and obtain the money through the crowdfunding site Milaap.“My friends from India and Pakistan who have studied in Oxford helped me in the entire process. About 1,500 people from India, United Kingdom, and the United States donated Rs 37 lakh within four to five hours of opening the fundraiser on June 1,” Sumit said to The New Indian Express.“Though I require a few more lakhs, students at Oxford University have requested the management to waive off some amount of the fee,” he added.

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After finishing his schooling at Jeevan Jyoti Higher Secondary School in Semiliguda, Koraput, Sumit studied BA and MA in Spanish and Latin American literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi from 2012 to 2017. While his days in JNU, Sumit was included in student activism and has been putting his voice against caste prejudice through rap since 2017. He was also part of a show on French Radio Live in Paris from 2018 to 2020.

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