The Telegraph
Saturday , June 2 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Needy students score rich

A minister’s children fail, a fruit-seller’s daughter excels. Jharkhand Academic Council intermediate results, declared on Friday, proved to be quite the social leveller.

Shahin Perween (19), daughter of an ailing fruit-seller in Sakchi, Jamshedpur, scored 333 out of 500 in intermediate arts, making her alma mater Central Karimia Plus 2 School proud. But the school topper in her stream doesn’t know if she can study further.

The reasons are not too far to seek. Father Md Mustaqueeb earns Rs 3,000 a month and has to maintain a family of 10. Since the past two months, a spinal injury has kept him bed-ridden.

Shahin — second-born with an older, working brother — has six schoolgoing siblings. A BA honours degree seems an unaffordable luxury.

“I don’t know if I can enter college. I will have to discuss the issue at home,” the teen with 66.6 per cent marks says.

And no, she has not yet seen her result. Her school called her up. “I have never gone to an Internet cafe. Of course, when my school called me up with the good news, I was overwhelmed. Though I had to borrow textbooks from friends, I did well,” she added.

“She is a motivation for those who are privileged. We are proud and happy,” said Mohammad Riyaz, secretary of Central Karimia Plus 2 School.

Shahin’s mother Sabina Khatoon is more pragmatic.

“It won’t be possible for us to bear the cost of her college. My husband has not been able to work for the past two months,” the mother said

She added that in a large family of eight children, parents had to treat everyone equally.

“Six children are in school. They need to complete their basic education. We have to stop Shahin’s studies,” she said.

Shahin’s academic journey may end, but auto driver’s son Jay Prakash (19) of Karim City College, who scored 338 in the science stream, dreams of pursuing physics, his first love, in college. His father Ram Prakash earns between Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,000. “So what that I didn’t get new textbooks? What you learn from the books are important,” said the youth who stays in Kitadih.

Would you want to support Shahin’s college education?