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Assam Board 2017 : Rajababu Saikia tops despite struggle with poverty

Rajababu Saikia, who topped the AHSEC HSSLC (Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate) Class 12th 2017 exam, topped the science stream despite battling poverty

education Updated: Jul 19, 2017 15:41 IST
Assam Board,Assam topper,Assam Higher Secondary Education Council
Rajababu Saikia (left) with Dilip Kumar Borah (right) after Assam higher secondary board results were announced on Tuesday(HT Photo)

Guwahati: Sometimes life can change in a matter of minutes. Rajababu Saikia of Dholpur village in Lakhimpur district in Assam would agree.

Two years ago he was uncertain about pursuing his higher studies, but on Tuesday morning--the moment the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (ASHEC) board exam results were announced he became the toast of the state.

The 17-year-old student from Ramanujan Junior College in Nagaon, located 120 km from the state capital, put in his best performance among 242,623 students who appeared for the AHSEC HSSLC (Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate) Class 12th 2017 exam. He topped the exams in all three streams despite battling povertt.

Rajababu secured 482/500 or 96.4% in science stream---beating second ranked Abinash Kalita (480/500) of Krishnakanta Handique Junior College, Pathsala, by one mark.

“I had scored 94% in the Class 10 exams, but failed to secure a rank by a whisker. Since my village is located in an interior place, I decided to come to Nagaon for further studies,” he told HT.

Dilip Kumar Borah, principal of Ramanujan Junior College, was more forthcoming about the real reason behind Rajababu, leaving home and staying away from his family at Nagaon for the past two years.

“Rajababu’s father approached me and requested to admit his son. But he also said that the family would be unable to pay the tuition and hostel fees as they were very poor,” Borah told HT.

In order to verify, the principal himself went to the family’s house located nearly 270 km away. What he saw convinced Borah that he had to support Rajababu. “The family live in a very small mud hut where the door is made with tin cut out from large cans. Rajababu’s father Jantumani is unemployed while his mother Dulumoni secured a teaching job only recently,” he said.

Borah took Rajababu under his wings and waived the tuition and hostel fees. This enabled the student to focus on his studies.

“I used to study for10-15 hours daily since October. If everything goes according to plan, I want to study mechanical engineering from IIT,” Rajababu said.

First Published: May 30, 2017 14:03 IST