Dengue, partial paralysis, mental trauma — this board examinee faced it all since last November. It was his grit that made him shine in the end.
Debojyoti Basak of DPS, Newtown, feels he could have done better than his 84 per cent in ISC 2022. His life could have been different too had not dengue struck last November. A few days after recovering from it, the boy was left paralysed, legs down and wheelchair-bound. A keen student of commerce, Debojyoti’s life has turned upside down since then.
“I was into stock trading and making a digital app. All that changed when I became wheelchair-bound. My board exam preps had to coincide with my medical treatment. This is the lowest phase of my life, but I knew I had to focus and sit for the exams,” says the boy, who dreams of being an entrepreneur one day. Still wheelchair-bound, Debojyoti hopes to recover soon. But till then, he has his resilience to keep him going.
Covid, family setback, financial trouble and truncated school time – this year’s board examinees have faced all that and more. But for some, the hurdles were greater and the show of strength even more.
Sumyadeep Mukherjee of GD Goenka Public School, Dakshineswar, is one of them. He was overjoyed with his 95 per cent in CBSE Class XII exam (science). Yet the journey was not easy.
“I lost my grandfather and then my mother to Covid-19 around six months before my exam. Suddenly, it was just my father and me at home. Life was traumatic, but I decided not to ponder and just study. It helped that I was in love with maths and physics, and preparing for my exams never seemed a chore. Yet I often took refuge in books by Vivekananda and Ramkrishna to calm myself,” says the boy, who dreams of studying engineering.
Soumyadeep was the first batch of CBSE examinees from his school. “We are so happy that all our students have come out with such great results. The difficulties they faced were inexplicable. Loss of livelihood, death, illness and not being able to come to school for months had taken a toll on so many students. Yet they showed how adaptable they are,” said his principal Sujata Chatterjee.
Sudiksha Basu of Shri Shikshayatan School scored a 99 per cent in the CBSE Class XII (humanities). The former head girl of the school wants to study psychology. “I want to give others the mental support that I did not get around this time,” says the topper.
As a newcomer in her school, online classes meant making friends much later. “Then my mother got Covid and her lungs were severely affected. I stay alone with my mother. My dad, who is in the army, posted in Jammu. For months, I could not study at all. Even afterwards, I had to look after her while I studied,” says the girl, who is now a champion of mental health, especially for students.
For Sourav Das of Indus Valley World School, getting a 66 per cent in the CBSE Class XII was a show of immense strength. Diagnosed with dyslexia, language disability and severe Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Sourav requires to be under a strict routine and physical exercise. All that changed with Covid. “He had major anger management and adjustment issues. It was his father, who would monitor his food, mental and physical health and motivate him to read and push on,” says mother Indira, a marketing professional.
The setback came when Sourav’s father and anchor died in February this year just before the boards. “I fared very badly in the pre-boards, and for a while, I felt unable to sit for my boards. I could not go on. But then, I changed my mind and I am glad I did it,” says the boy, who dreams of joining the National Defence Academy.
“This year many more students were guided by their resilience, given the pandemic. One of our boys, Aryan Pervez Zamal, got diagnosed with cancer and gave his exams while undergoing treatment. The school would keep a close watch on the mental health of our students and help them cope with a breakdown. We have in-house clinical psychologists, who would keep tabs on students. We also tried to bond with the newcomers,” says Writuparna Chatterjee, principal of DPS, Joka.