As the results of Madyamik examination conducted by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education were announced on Wednesday, lakhs of Class X students emerged successful. Several students from the marginalised society also passed the exam and The Telegraph chronicles the stories of some of them
Name: Rajkumar Mondal
School: Banamalichhata High School, Contai
Rajkumar, 16, of Adanpur village in Contai’s Marishda, wakes at 5am to help his mother Sonali by watering paddy and vegetables on a one bigha plot in the backyard of their home. They toil for two hours before Rajkumar is able to sit down with his books around 7am, an hour before school starts.
The boy’s father Goutam spends eight months of the year in Digha, where he is a labourer at a fish market.
“We are quite poor. We manage to earn barely Rs 5,000 a month from our land,” said Sonali. “Rajkumar’s marks are a testament to his own efforts.”
The boy had only one private tutor for science and in the past two years, he got help from his friends in college and neighbours. Teachers at his school said they had paid his fees since Class V.
“I want to continue studying science, but I am unsure about the money needed for it,” said Rajkumar.
“He has always been a star student of our school. He will surely find his way,” said former headmaster Mahmood Hossain.
Name: Sk Ataulla
School: Nahana Sadharan Vidyabhaban, Birbhum
Ataulla of Bhabanipur village in Birbhum’s Illambazar wants to be a doctor to fulfil the dream of his father Sk Rahamatulla, a rickshaw van puller. The poor villager had stretched his daily working hours from eight hours to 12 hours to ensure that he could meet the needs of his son. Rahamatulla, a school dropout, dreams of a bright career for his son as he had to quit school because of extreme poverty.
“I used to study for 12 hours a day before exams and also helped my family with daily chores,” Ataulla said.
“I saw my father pulling the van from early morning till late evening. I want to dedicate my success in the Madhyamik examination to him, to my teachers at Al-Amin Mission and others who helped me in my studies,” said Ataulla.
Pratyasha, a local organisation that had helped him buy books and stationery, has promised to him help in future.
“We are ready to help him but it would not be sufficient if he gets a chance to study medical science after completing Class XII. We want the government and other organisations to help bright students,” said Abdul Khaleque Mallick, a high schoolteacher and secretary of Pratyasha.
Rahamatulla said he would work more to fund his son’s education.
“I can devote more hours to my work but that would not be enough to pay the fees required to make him a doctor,” he said. The family dreams to have a pucca house once their son gets settled in life.
Name: Uchchwash Mondal
School: Memari VM Institution Unit II, East Burdwan
Uchchwash, a resident of Parijatnagar village of Memari, saw how his widowed mother and elder sister struggled with poverty which inspired him to study hard. His mother Arati used to make cotton quilts to run his family after his father died of brain stroke seven years ago. As Arati became sick and could not earn money, the elder sister Paromita, who graduated last year, became the sole bread earner in the family.
Paromita earns Rs 5,500 per month that keeps the family going. It is from this income that the family funds the education of Uchchwas, who has been a bright student since his childhood.
“I can’t explain what my mother and elder sister do to run the family and support my education. The help that I got from my school and teachers helped me achieve the score,” said Uchchwas.
Arati said: “I stayed awake through the nights to make cotton quilts and sell them. Now, I can’t work much because of illness, but my daughter has taken up the responsibility.”
Uchchwas wants to be a doctor.
“We know we have no financial power to help my brother to study medical science. We expect the government and some good Samaritans to help fulfil his dream,” said Paromita, his elder sister.
Name: Ankita Sarkar
School: New Jalpaiguri Railway Girls’ High School, Siliguri
Daughter of an electrical mechanic who runs a small shop and makes around Rs 7,000 a month. Ankita could afford to have only one private tutor.
“I studied for around 10 hours a day to ensure that I have knowledge of the entire syllabus. Most of my friends used to take tuitions but I had only one tutor and he has helped me a lot,” said the girl.
In future, she wants to be a faculty member in a college and intends to study in science stream in the coming days.
Name: Chayan Majumdar
School: Nilnalini Vidya Mandir High School, Siliguri
Chayan, who is fond of mathematics, took the task of preparing himself for Madhyamik as his father toiled in a godown of hardware items.
“He is a store-keeper and at times, also takes the task of loading and unloading goods on his own to make some additional money so that I can continue my studies. Though he earns around Rs 12,000 a month, he had taken the burden of bearing the cost of my private tuitions. I had two teachers only for maths and he somehow went on paying their fees. It is good that I could finally bring a smile to his face,” said the boy.