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Happy feet Akash wins for courage

He lost his father two years back in a bus accident but his fighting spirit saw Akash win the The Telegraph School Awards for Excellence

By Ali Fauz Hassan in Guwahati
  • Published 2.10.18, 12:28 AM
  • Updated 2.10.18, 12:28 AM
  • 2 mins read
Akash Patel receives The Telegraph Education Foundation Award for Courage from Princy Gogoi at ITA Pragjyoti Centre for Performing Arts in Guwahati on Saturday. Manash Das

Tough times have not been able to wipe the smile off Akash Patel’s face or make him give up his hobby of dancing.

Besides attending school and tuition, Akash, a student of Class VIII in Shishu Niketan here, goes for dance and art classes on Saturdays and Sundays. 

He lost his father Rajkumar Patel two years back in a bus accident but his fighting spirit saw Akash win the award for courage at the first edition of the IIHM Presents The Telegraph School Awards for Excellence 2018 Powered by Sister Nivedita University at ITA Pragjyoti Centre for Performing Arts here on Saturday.

The awards, administered by The Telegraph Education Foundation and launched in 1996 in Calcutta, were held for the first time in the Northeast.

Patel was travelling in a Guwahati-bound bus from Silchar when it fell into a 600-foot gorge after skidding off the road at Sonapur in East Jaintia Hills district in Meghalaya on June 15, 2016.

Altogether 29 people were killed and nine injured in the accident that claimed the life of Patel, an electrical goods businessman. His death came as a huge shock to his wife and children.

Akash’s mother Maya was asked by her parents from Rajasthan to return along with the younger son Badal but she refused. Having stayed in Guwahati for the past 15 years, Maya wanted Akash to complete his matriculation before taking any decision. Her brother Hariprasad Sharma offered to support the family. Sharma works in a timber shop and his family lives in Rajasthan. Maya contributes to the household expenses by sewing for her neighbours.

Akash has not disappointed his mother, scoring 80 per cent marks in the Class VII annual exams. His school is also appreciative of his efforts and challenging life. No school fee is charged from his brother Badal, a Class III student at Shishu Niketan. Akash’s books are hand-me-downs and the school helps collect them.

Akash wakes up at 5am, studies, goes to school, comes back around 2.30pm, goes for tuition at 4pm, studies there till 7pm, returns home and watches television or plays with Badal before retiring for the night around 9.30pm.

His mother Maya has no time for television.

“I devote all my time to my sons. I am afraid of their falling in the company of wayward boys in the neighbourhood. They are engaged in activities throughout the day. I have taken the decision to make Akash complete his matriculation here. He can decide what to do after that,” she said.