Theirs is a story of grit, determination and perseverance. The 24 underprivileged students, who were felicitated by an NGO recently for passing this year’s Madhyamik examination with flying colours, have all battled against unfavourable circumstances and won.
Take 16-year-old Sukrita Moyra for instance. While her 85% marks might not be quite in the same league as the toppers of the Madhyamik exam this year, but her achievement is remarkable nevertheless. Consider the odds against her - for the last two years, she has been battling the drunken rages and misbehaviour of her father, amechanicandadrunkard.Her mother, Sulata, her brother and she have been at the receiving end of Krishna Moyra’s assaults, but somehow, the teenager managed to find time to study despite her family troubles and scored above 90 in four subjects and above 80 in two.
A jubilant Moyra told Hindustan Times, “I want to study further, pursue engineering and help my mother. She is trying very hard to help us achieve something in life. My younger brother, too, is a good student and comes first in class.” She is now studying science at a local school in Bhowanipore.
Seventeen-year-old Rupa Khatoon’s is another success story though her battle was somewhat different. She persisted with her studies despite pressure from her father who wanted to marry her off and did not want her and her three siblings to study further. And the results were evident in this year’s Madhyamik. “In January this year, our house was gutted in a fire a tour slum(Tangra). My daughter managed to study and pass her exams despite all odds and her father’s disapproval,” said Rupa’s mother, Farida Bibi, with tears in her eyes.
Women’s Interlink Foundation (WIF), an NGO, led by Aloka Mitra, felicitated Moyra, Khatoon and 22 others who had passed their Madhyamik this year with help from teachers of the NGO under the ‘Nabadisha’ project of Kolkata Police.
The occasion was all the more special as it would have been only too easy for this bunch of achievers to give up given the circumstances. But instead, they persevered and now want to become engineers or chartered accountants.
Mitra, who is the chairperson of the foundation, has set up 16 such centres, along with the Kolkata Police, in different parts of the city, where they identify the underprivileged kids and school dropouts of the area, train them and get them back to school.
“This is the first time that so many of the children under my supervision have successfully cleared the exam. Many of them are poor. We will try to help them study further. We have set up our centres at Chitpur, Chetla, Tangra, Bhowanipore, Hatibagan,” Mitra said.