Sonali Verma, a farmer’s daughter, on Sunday secured the second rank in the intermediate or Class 12 examination conducted by the Uttar Pradesh Board of High School and Intermediate Education.
A student of Barabanki’s Maharani Laxmibai Memorial Inter College, Sonali secured 98% marks and shares the rank with Pratima Singh of the same institute. She scored 490 out of 500 with a 100 in physics, 99 in chemistry and mathematics and 96 in English and Hindi.
Sonali travelled for two hours on a bus every day to reach her school in Barabanki from her village Atrauli in Fatehpur block.
“I had to spend four hours in order to commute to school and back home. As a result, I got fewer hours for studies. To cope with this, I had to work extra hard to achieve my goal,” she said.
Her father Dilip Kumar Verma said he was always worried for his daughter as travelled the distance.
“I would stand outside my house waiting for her until she came home safely. But I am happy that her hard work finally paid off,” Dilip said.
All of 17, Sonali has already set herself new goals. Inspired by civil services examination topper Tina Dabi, Sonali wants to achieve the same feat after she completes her graduation from Lucknow University.
“I want to become an IAS. I would do my graduation in political science like Tina and start my preparations right away. I would not waste a single minute during my graduation so that I achieve my target at the earliest,” she says.
Second among three sisters, Sonali has been living with her maternal grandparents in their Sarayan Khasi village since childhood. She completed her class 10 from a government school in the village and scored 90% marks.
To pursue her intermediate, she shifted to Atrauli - her parents’ village.
“I read that girls of the schools in Barabanki were topping in the UP board examinations and I thought that I too should join the same school for good guidance. Since there was no conveyance from my grandparents’ village for the district schools, I stayed with my parents for two years,” she says.
Sonali was with her grandparents when the results were declared. Her achievement will be celebrated in both the villages, she says.
Girls outshined boys in the board examinations with the top three positions in both high school and intermediate examinations secured by girls.
Director of the board Amarnath Verma said girls secured an overall pass percentage of 91.11 in high school examination as against boys who registered an overall result of 84.82%.
In intermediate examinations as well, girls secured an overall pass percentage of 92.46 while boys achieved a pass percentage of 84.35.