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Turning 18 with HT: ‘Punjab govt schools need attention, accountability’

Having topped her school in Kurali with 91.78% in the PSEB Class 12 exam, non-medical student Komal Rani is upbeat but urges youngsters not to get stressed about competition and follow their passion

punjab Updated: May 24, 2018 14:37 IST
Yojana Yadav
Yojana Yadav
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Turning 18 with HT,Punjab govt schools,Punjab govt
Komal loves chemistry as much as art. She has an ear for Bollywood music and likes reading inspirational quotes in her free time. (Ravi Kumar/HT)

Komal Rani of Government Senior Secondary School, Kurali, says education, healthcare and gender sensitisation are areas that need government focus.

Name: Komal Rani

Born on: July 12, 2001

Badge of honour: Topper, Government Senior Secondary School, Kurali, Mohali

What turning 18 means to me

Turning 18 ushers in a responsible phase in life though I don’t see an immediate change. Responsibilities will grow, particularly those related to career. I look forward to pursuing higher studies and fulfilling my dreams.

What I want to be and why

I’m a non-medical student and topped my school in the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) Class 12 exam. Chemistry is my favourite subject and I hope to get admission in Panjab University’s chemistry honours course. I’ve also taken the engineering entrance exams. Whatever I study, my aim is to fulfil my father’s wish of seeing me as a civil servant one day.

My idea of India

I’m a proud Indian and love its cultural diversity. Our young population is our biggest asset. Youngsters have the potential but they rarely take initiative to usher in a positive change. Most Indians are laidback and fail to act when the situation demands.

What makes me happy

Time spent with my family. My father, Krishan Lal, a head constable in Punjab Police, and mother Amarjeet Kaur, who is a homemaker, dote on me. My college-going elder sister, Priya Rani, and younger brother, Yash Kumar, who studies in Class 10, are my best buddies.

What makes me angry

Crimes against women, particularly the Kathua gangrape and murder, anger me. I’m shocked at the mindset of some men. Our society holds candlelight marches and protests but conveniently forgets about the victim till a similar brutal crime occurs. It is sad. Why can’t there be a concrete deterrent?

My fear and fantasy

My only fear is that I should not let down my parents. They have high expectations from me.

It’s a fantasy to own a bungalow with a fleet of cars and the latest facilities. I want to gift my parents a comfortable life. They have sacrificed a lot.

Am I happy where I am?

Though I’m excited about going to college, I know I’ll miss school.

What money means to me

I’m not money-minded but I want to earn enough to sustain myself and help my near and dear ones.

What makes me proud of India

The fact that Indian professionals have made a mark for themselves across the world. Our software engineers, doctors and diplomats have done so well. Our education system is not all that bad though there is scope for improvement. Our students should not be pressurised to compete in fields they are not interested in. The entire education is marks-oriented. The children should be encouraged to excel in their area of interest.

What I can’t live without

My mother. She knows me so well. My siblings often complain but I know I’m her favourite.

What social media means to me

It’s not required for school students as it’s a distraction. But now that I’m going to college, I’m open to the idea. Social media helps network and mould public opinion.

Changes I want to see in Kurali

My town in Mohali district ought to be cleaner. People lack civic sense. I also see parents in adjoining villages marrying off daughters early rather than making them economically independent by giving them a good education. People need to be more open-minded.

Changes I want to see in India

Our country should be a safer place for girls. Women should be respected and empowered in the true sense of the word. Another issue that concerns all is corruption. Why can’t things move without a bribe? We should also focus on preventive healthcare and improve health infrastructure. Punjab’s government schools need attention. Accountability needs to be fixed for the poor results in exams.

What religion means to me

It is a code for rightful living but I don’t understand why people fight over religion? We must have faith and work hard because God helps those who help themselves.

My role model and why

My father is my inspiration. He comes from a humble background and had to drop out of school after matriculation due to family circumstances. Being the eldest, he ensured his siblings studied while he took on the family’s responsibilities. He worked hard and sacrificed a lot for the family. He is broadminded and has encouraged his daughters to study well. I want to do him proud.

First Published: May 24, 2018 14:29 IST