Her father runs a shop in Mukundapur. She is the first in her family to receive a formal education. However, Class XII student Smriti Pramanik managed to rise above her modest background and do her school proud.
Having begun her education in Diksha, an evening school for marginalised children, Smriti’s talents were immediately recognised and she was admitted into Young Horizon School, EM Bypass, that would run the evening school.
A bright student, Smriti now dreams of becoming a doctor and giving back to society. “I owe my school everything,” said Smriti, as she went up on stage to accept an award on the occasion of Young Horizon’s 50th anniversary.
To celebrate their 50-year journey, the school awarded three of their bravehearts at a celebration in Kala Mandir on December 10. The other winners — Anubrata Das and Harikrishnan Nair — are former students.
“This was a special occasion to introduce our braveheart award,” said principal Sarmistha Sen. It has been an eventful journey for the school that had an equally modest start in 1972.
Mukerji, had started off by running a night school for refugee children in the 1960s. Mother Teresa supported his efforts. Young Horizon began from a small building in Shakespeare Sarani, catering to around 20 local and slum children. Today it has three branches and 15,000 students. It also supports several night schools and community projects in the city and South 24 Parganas,” said Sen.
“We have a unique blend of students from all communities and financial backgrounds,” said Sen.
“I enjoy the teacher-student connect here, that I have found nowhere,” said Class XII student Nilanjan Ghosh. The son of an academician, Nilanjan dreams of being a writer and an engineer. “Community service will always be a part of my ethos. That is what my school has ingrained in me,” he said.
Former student Swati Sengupta, doing her under-graduation in sociology at Lady Brabourne College, is as proud of her school. “I was scared of public speaking. Well, no more. My teachers have shaped me,” said Swati. She and other alumnae performed a dance at Kala Mandir.
“Our students are also very environmentally conscious. They’re actively recycling waste. Our school is powered by electricity and solar energy,” said Sen.