THERE WERE protests last year when the PSEB combined the merit list of sports and non-sports students, with the former getting an additional 15-25 marks based on their participation in state/national/international sports events.
This year, PSEB issued separate merit lists for Class XII students with sports and four students bagged first rank in Punjab with 100 per cent marks.
One among them is Sahil Midda, a commerce student of Teja Singh Swatantra Memorial Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana – who secured 100 per cent marks in commerce stream. He is a state-level baseball player.
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Tempted often to use Facebook, Sahil says that he ‘used to laze around when his father asked him to accompany him to his cycle/gas stove repair shop but eventually did.’
“My father taught me how to repair cycles and gas stoves. He earns Rs 400-500 a day. Then we are three siblings and it was always tough to manage finances at home. So, whenever I was free, I obeyed him and sat at the shop. I can handle customers now who need basic repair work. But yes, half an hour on FB daily is also must,” said Sahil. “I knew what condition of my home was. Sometimes, it was difficult for him to arrange for money when I went for a school trip to Shimla. But he did. He never said ‘I can’t’,” said Sahil.
“My father just told one thing — to stay away from drugs. He said we are poor and if I will walk down that path, we will be finished. So drugs never crossed my mind,” he said.
Pratiksha from BCM Senior Secondary School, Focal Point Ludhiana, also secured first rank in sports merit list with 100 per cent marks. A state-level softball player, a scholarship from her school was of help. She aspires to be a fashion designer. “When I opted for humanities, the general reaction was this stream is for dull students, who just want to pass. I think I have given a good enough reply,” she smiled. Rishabhdeep Singh from Guru Ram Das Sr Secondary School, Gurdaspur and Sumerjit Singh from Tagore Centenary Public Sr Sec School, Gurdaspur, also secured first rank with 100 per cent marks in sports merit list.