For years, you work hard for that defining exam. And guess where all that effort ends up after your Board results are out? With the scrap dealer, or raddiwallah.
All the SSC and HSC Board answersheets put together translate into 200 metric tonnes of paper, which are sold for recycling six months after the results are declared.
The city board, which includes students from Thane and Raigad, earns an impressive Rs 30 lakh from all that waste paper - more than any other board in the state.
"Even when we dispose the answer sheets, we ensure that they can't be leaked," said Shridhar Salunkhe, board chairperson. "The papers are bound and coded with no school names and sold to different vendors so that no one can trace their answer sheet."
The board waits for six months because till then a student can apply for revaluation.
The Rs 30 lakh is used to subsidise the cost of purchasing answer sheets. A single answer script costs Rs 4 after accounting for the printing and transportation costs. The board spends more than a crore every year on the answer scripts.
“Maybe, it is just a metaphor for all we do,” said 17-year-old Neha Makhija, a Class 12 student, when told where her carefully-written answer sheet would finally go to. “It just goes to show that all the mugging, tuitions and petty competition over every mark actually end up at the raddiwallah.”