As 16-year-old Kajal celebrated after securing 95.48 per cent in the SSC examination,she felt her fathers absence who died when she was barely an year old. It was a quiet celebration at her small house in Ahmedabads Ramol area with her mother,Baluben,and 22-year-old mentally challenged brother after the results were declared Thursday morning.
The family survives on Balubens meagre income as a daily wager. Things would have been different if my father was alive today. I know how my mother has been struggling so that I get an education and stand on my own feet. With all these responsibilities,she has another responsibility of my brother. No matter what,she would try and arrange for money whenever there was a requirement for my school fee or books, she added as her mother tried to hold back tears.
On asking about the familys financial difficulties,Baluben said,Only we know the struggle we went through. We would not celebrate festivals,not get new clothes,but save every rupee we could. But we are not complaining or blaming anybody. Rather,the circumstances made us stronger and brought us together as a family.
The private school from where Kajal completed Class X helps her with an annual scholarship of Rs 300. With an annual school fee of Rs 1,200,this is certainly of some assistance but nothing when compared to other costs. I took extra classes and had to pay Rs 14,000 in advance. My mother took a loan. She is the one who would always say nothing is impossible, said Kajal.