Hailing from a small town of Tapa Mandi, Nitasha Aggarwal of Sarvhitkari Vidya Mandir here scored the highest 644 marks (99.08%) out of the 650 marks in the academic candidates category in the Class-10 examination of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB). A total of 3,53,327 candidates had appeared in the examination. Ironically, Barnala district has hit the bottom in the state with lowest percentage of pass candidates at 51.20%.
"If we have the determination, then factors such as not studying in a big town or not affording to get admission in a convent charging hefty 'donations' cannot be impediments," said Nitasha.
Nitasha said, "I do not believe in last-minute preparation. A student must be disciplined. Without a disciplined approach, it is very difficult to concentrate and focus."
Sharing the secret of her success, Nitasha said, "I remained focused on studies all the time forgetting everything else. Focus, focus and focus was the main mantra of my success."
"I did not expect that I will be the topper, though I had hoped to be in the merit list. The credit of my success goes to my teachers, who always helped me to work hard and told me that there was no alternative to hard work," she added.
Nitasha scored more than 95% marks in all her classes. She aspires to be a civil servant.
Thanking her mother for unconditional support, Nitasha reminisced how she used to wake up early in the morning just to give her the moral support she needed. Apart from taking care of her food for the entire day, she also avoided giving extra work to her." I do not believe in memorising or cramming. For me it is important to go into the depth of the subject concerned and getting the base clear," said Nitasha.
Her mother Ranju Bala, is the vice-principal in the same school, and her father Parveen Shaant works as an accounts officer in Trident Group. The duo said, "It is her hard work and grace of Sri Sathya Sai Baba that we are so happy today."
Her school principal, Varinder Singh, said, "I am pleased with the results. Our school's motto is not to produce toppers, but to give best education to the students in this small town."
"While some students came out with flying colours, some missed their dream target by a small margin. But keeping everything aside, it is amazing to see the amount of confidence and flair which these students possess," said Singh.
While 15 candidates of the district found their names in the merit list in the academic category, none of the students was able to secure place in the sports category merit.