Modi ji ne kaha ki beti padhao, ab humne unko bahut seriously liya hai (We thought we should take Modi’s advice to empower and educate the girl child seriously),” laughs Pawan Gupta, father of Akshita Gupta who is among the tricity toppers of the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) 2015. It is only natural for parents to take pride in their children’s accomplishments especially when it means bagging the All India Rank of 28 in a prestigious medical examination, but Akshita’s story has a twist.
Her parents left no stone unturned to ensure that their daughter excelled in her studies right from the beginning. Originally from Ambala, the 16-year-old moved to Chandigarh to study at the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33. While students often shift base to further their education, Akshita’s parents accompanied her to provide her support in a new place. Her father, who is the principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Mullana, Ambala, as well as her mother Meena Gupta, a mathematics teacher at a government school in Adhoya, Ambala shifted base for the sake of their daughter’s education. They traveled over 100 kms daily, juggling between their professional demands and their quest to provide moral support to their daughter.
Talking to HT, Pawan said, “We rented an accommodation in Sector 33 since Akshita’s school was close by and as long as the effort was producing good results, it was all good.”
“My husband and I used to take a bus at 6am everyday to Ambala and get back by about 5:30 every evening after which my husband would pick her up from her coaching center at 8 pm,” said Meena, who is likely to get transferred to a government school in Panchkula in the coming few days, to further provide ‘emotional support’ to her daughter.
In the name of gender equality
Sensitive to her parents’ sacrifices in the name of her education, Akshita said, “My parents are my biggest inspiration and I only hope I am able to make them proud by doing well in my studies.”
Akshita, who also has a younger brother who is currently in Class 11 in a government school in Chandigarh, feels her parents never distinguished between the two. “They wanted to see me excel no matter what and that has been the biggest motivational factor,” she added. A proud father adds, “We believe our daughter is no less than our son, so why only pay attention to his education? We as a family decided to take this step for our children, even if it meant commuting daily.”
The mother further said, “It’s funny how she even dresses like a boy and refuses to wear a salwar kameez and we never objected to that so it’s a thought process in itself.”
‘All about hard work and focus'
A chirpy Akshita likes to live by the ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ mantra as she did not compromise on her outings with her family, or her hobbies such as listening to music, while preparing for the medical entrance.
Talking about being a student of a government school, a confident Akshita says, “It doesn’t matter whether you are from a government school or private school, it is all about the individual and the hard work one puts in. Results will follow, automatically.”
An achiever, Akshita excelled at her Class 12 CBSE board exams too, securing 96% in the medical stream. She secured the 75th rank in the AIIMS medical entrance.