Vikas Dhingle is elated. His 71.5 per cent score in Class XII has put him right at the top of the merit list at Pune Night High School and Junior College. It was well-deserved,too. Dhingle worked at a jewellery shop in the day and attended night school so that his education is not disrupted.
Vikas had come to Pune from Velhe Taluka after Class X. I scored 87 per cent in Class X. My village doesnt have a college and I wanted to earn money and support my family. So I came to Pune and started working as a salesman in a jewellery shop in Tulsibaug. I didnt want to discontinue studies. I got admission to the night college, said Vikas.
The teachers were supportive. I used to study after midnight. Regular study helped me score good marks, says Vikas,a commerce student.
Vikas earns Rs 6,000 as salesman. Rs 3,000 goes for mess fee and I send home Rs 1,500 every month. My aim is to be a chartered accountant. I will continue studies in college and enroll for BCom, he says.
Avinash Takawale,vice-principal of the college,says,I am proud that our student got such good marks. The victory of these students is important as they struggle to earn and study despite all odds. If Vikas joins our college for BCom,we will give him free education.
We had 105 students who appeared for the exam and 55 cleared it. Most of the students are from Konkan and take up odd jobs in hotels to put continue college. I wish the government makes a provision of food at least every night for these students. It will greatly reduce their mess charges, says Takawale.
The government allows night school to run for three hours. We want it increased to at least five as syllabus is vast and it is hard to complete it. Plus it is unfair that these students just get three hours every day at college and have to compete against students who study for 6 hours in regular colleges and then attend tuition classes,too, adds Takawale.