Higher Secondary Exam

Students fought poverty and other hardships to emerge successful in this year’s HS examinations

Jhinuk Mazumdar, Subhankar Chowdhury
Jhinuk Mazumdar, Subhankar Chowdhury
Posted on 26 May 2023
04:50 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

Cloud of uncertainty over further studies

Students fought poverty and other hardships to emerge successful in this year’s higher secondary examinations. The Telegraph spoke to four of them.

Susmita Das

88.8 per cent


Children’s Welfare Association High School for Girls, Behala

A mother who could only study till Madhymik and works as an attendant tells her daughters not to get married before completing their education and getting a job.

Susmita Das, the younger daughter of the woman, Rina Das, crossed the first hurdle on the way to becoming self-reliant when she cleared the HS with 88.8 per cent marks.

The 18-year-old has topped her school, following in the footsteps of her elder sister.

Susmita’s marks are 94 in English and political science, 90 in history, 86 in education and 80 in geography and Bengali.

But unlike many girls her age, Susmita cannot devote her waking hours to books alone. Her mother leaves for work at 8am and Susmita has to cook for her grandfather, father, mother and herself.

Her elder sister stays in a hostel.

“I could not buy all books and had to borrow a few. During the pandemic, we did not have money to recharge the data pack, but my teachers helped me with the recharge,” said Susmita.

Rina earns Rs 9,000 a month.

“I tell my daughters not to think of getting married before completing their education and getting a decent job.It is important to have money,” she said.

Bapan Pramanik

90.4 per cent

Laskarpur High School, Murshidabad

Bapan Pramanik’s father sells spices door to door and earns Rs 4,000 a month.

The 17-year-old has scored 85 in Bengali, 88 in Sanskrit, 98 in philosophy, 91 in political science, 90 in geography and 80 in English.

Bapan plans to enrol in a local college. “Going to Kolkata (for undergraduate studies) will lead to better opportunities but it also means more money. I cannot burden my father any more,” he said.

“My father, who barely went to school, sells turmeric, cumin powder and other spices in four or five villages. Despite the hardships, he never said no when I asked for money to a buy a book.... I cannot thank my parents enough for being such pillars of support.”

Mohammad Jahangir Alam, headmaster of the school, said: “Bapan does not have a smartphone. During the pandemic, he would go to a friend’s house to attend online classes.”

Prasun Chatterjee

91.6 per cent

The Park Institution,Shyambazar

The 18-year-old has qualified in JEE Mains and wants to study computer science, but his parents are unsure whether they can afford the course.

“It is an expensive branch of study. I work in a factory and earn Rs 6,000 a month. I don’t get paid on days I cannot go to work,” said Prasun Chatterjee’s father Subhas.

“The HS science course was expensive, too, but I somehow managed. The school has helped him in various ways.”

Prasun has scored 87 in Bengali, 90 in English and chemistry, 94 in math, 97 in computer science and 82 in physics.

Riya Kumari

76.8 per cent

Dum Dum Sree Arabinda Vidyamandir

Riya Kumari’s father is a carpenter who makes Rs 8,000 a month. Her marks are 83 in Hindi, 94 in English, 90 in biological science, 57 in chemistry, 54 in physics and 60 in computer science.

“We came here from a village in Bihar to give her a better opportunity. She worked hard and her results show that,” said Riya’s mother Sangita Sharma.

Riya wants to study medicine and is preparing for NEET. “My NEET rank should be high enough to earn me a slot in a government college. My parents can’t afford my study in a private college,” she said.

Last updated on 26 May 2023
04:50 AM
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