At a time when educational loan applicants are crying hoarse about getting loans sanctioned, here is one student who has managed to get the sanction despite a 13-year gap in studies. “It was not easy though,” says the applicant’s guardian.

Saradha (name changed) completed schooling with a good score in 2001. Life thereafter took a different turn for this girl and she could not pursue her studies.

Twelve years later, Saradha, now a mother of two, decided to pursue her studies, applied and got admission through counselling in an engineering institution.

But no bank was willing to entertain her application. Since the family could not afford to fund her studies, they approached every bank in the neighbourhood seeking financial assistance.

When asked why they were unwilling to sanction the loan, a cross-section of bankers said they were not confident the candidate would be able to complete the four-year degree programme with two small children back home, and thereafter get a job when much younger candidates were finding it difficult to be placed.

Saradha’s husband did not give up. Recalling his struggle, he told this correspondent that he had had to wait for 5-6 hours outside the manager’s cabin, more than once. “One look and they would say ‘wait outside, I will call’ and the wait would never-end.”

With help and advice from well-wishers, he says, he sought help from the District Lead Bank (Canara Bank).

Lead bank officials told BusinessLine that it was not easy for them either to convince their higher-ups, but after meeting the candidate, they decided to take up the case.

The applicant meanwhile petitioned the District Collector, Archana Patnaik.

At the grievance cell meeting held last Friday, the Collector gave away three education loan sanction letters, including Saradha’s sanction.

Joy knew no bounds for the couple when they received the sanction letter for Rs 2.20 lakh from the Collector.

Pleading anonymity, Saradha’s husband said “while we are excited, my wife is quite nervous about pursuing studies in the midst of much younger students”.

The other two beneficiaries awarded sanction letters include Madhuvanthi K (for Rs 1.65 lakh) and Durgadan (for Rs 87,700).