The Telegraph School Awards For Excellence 2011

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By Little people. Hard work. Child labour was the theme at the 15th chapter of The Telegraph School Awards for Excellence that saluted the champions' spirit Pictures by Anindya Shankar Ray and Rashbehari Das
  • Published 28.08.11

Shouting out the name of their school, the boys from Don Bosco School, Liluah, ran up to the stage in a stream to collect The Telegraph School of the Year trophy from the chairman of The Telegraph Education Foundation, Sukanta Chaudhuri. “It is indeed gratifying that we are receiving the award during our platinum jubilee celebrations. We must add that we do not work for awards but it is always motivating,” said principal Brother Jose Puthenpurackel.

After her parents’ death, Sumana Gupta, a 19-year-old from Chinsurah, started to run a bicycle-stand from a garage near the railway station. It helped her pay her way through school. After completing her Higher Secondary, she is now studying philosophy honours at Hooghly Women’s College. “I generally get Rs 80 per day. At times it is a hassle to deal with the men. But I manage,” said Sumana, who received the Banani Sen Memorial Scholarship.


The former principal of La Martiniere for Girls, Hilda Peacock, received the Frank Brothers Honour for an Educationist certificate from Neil O’Brien, former chairman of Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations. She joined La Martiniere for Girls in June 1998 as vice-principal and became principal the following year. She retired in May this year. Under her, the school crossed many milestones. Now she faces a bigger challenge at Dr Graham’s Homes in Kalimpong.


Anita Das walked away with a certificate of honour for the Abhirup Bhadra Memorial ‘Thank You Baba-Ma’ award. She has dedicated her life to her son Pranay, who scored 73.8 per cent in Madhyamik despite suffering from acute transverse myelopathy that keeps him wheelchair-bound. “Pranay had an attack in 2005 and was completely bedridden for two years. His father committed suicide. I cannot leave him. I have to make him self-reliant,” said Anita, who is an Integrated Child Development Services worker in their village in Routhkhanda, Bankura. Pranay received the La Martiniere 2012 Batch scholarship.



My teachers helped me to “speak like a politician, write like Shakespeare, think like Einstein, paint like Michelangelo and sing like Elvis”, Dustin Wunn had written to the organisers. Now 17, he was struck by a rare Japanese viral disease when he was two years old. It damaged his vital organs. But he kept fighting. A dyslexic, he learnt to read at Akshar. Dustin is now to take the Class X examination from National Institute of Open Schooling. He received a Surrendra Paul Memorial Award for Courage certificate.