HS stars give lessons in fighting the odds
The state higher secondary results, out on Friday, brought cheer to many homes amid the pandemic. The Telegraph speaks to some achievers whose high scores are equalled by their tenacity to fight poverty and misfortune.
Name: Manoj Mondal
School: Uttar Laxmipur High School, Malda
Score: 491 (Arts)
Son of a poor marginal farmer Gour Mondal, Manoj scored 98.2 per cent in HS exams. He scored 97 in Bengali, 93 in English, 97 in philosophy, 99 in history, 99 in education and 99 in Sanskrit even though he had to bunk school sometimes to work as a daily wage labourer. Gour is proud but worried about his son’s prospects. Manoj also knows his elder brothers had to quit studies to support the family, but he wants to study history, his favourite subject. He credited his scores to his teachers.
Name: Sunita Das
School: Margram High School, Birbhum
Score: 472 (Arts)
Sunita, a resident of Birbhum’s Margram, wakes up early to roll silk yarns for handlooms. She has to work for at least five hours a day to help with the family’s meagre income as her father Sasthicharan Das is paralysed. Despite this, she scored 90 in Bengali, 81 in English, 91 in political science, 97 in philosophy, 97 in geography, and 97 in Sanskrit. Md Mansur Alam, her headmaster, said they had not taken school fees from her for the past two years.
Name: Manoar Hossain Mollah
School: Krishnachandrapur High School, South 24-Parganas
Score: 479 (Arts)
Manoar, a resident of Mathurapur-1 block in the Sunderbans, is the eldest of tailor Mannan Mollah’s four children. Before the lockdown Mannan earned Rs 8,000 to 10,000 a month, but the money mostly went for his cardiac treatment. The lockdown reduced his father’s earnings. Despite this, Manoar scored 98 in all subjects except English in which he got 87. Reality is grim, as Cyclone Amphan damaged their home. Still, Manoar dreams of a PhD in “either English or economics”.