Thirteen-year-old Prabhjot Kaur does not know how to uproot rice seedlings, but has learnt transplantation. Hence, while her family is busy uprooting seedlings, she decided to use that time to write her exams, sitting under the sun with her feet dipped in water, in the fields of basmati.
Recently, a picture of writing her English exam in a paddy field in Faridkot district’s Ghumiara village, went going viral on social media. Kaur, daughter of Class III-pass Buta Singh, goes with her father to transplant paddy every day, so she carries her study material with her.
Kaur had an English exam on July 14, but her family had to work in the paddy fields that say. “I used to work at a marriage palace, but now I am out of work and hence this season I decided to transplant paddy. In June, our entire family transplanted paddy and now we are transplanting Basmati. This is out only source of income as of now because big weddings are not happening. I am not sure whether I will get back my job,” said Buta Singh, her father.
The family has one smartphone through which Prabhjot procured the question paper. The family reaches home after completing work as late as 7-8 pm, which would give Prabhjot little time to write the paper at home, said Buta.
Harbinder Singh Sekhon, in-charge of the Government Middle School in Ghumiara, said, “Parents clicked her picture and sent it to me. I later sent it to the district education officer. I found the picture inspiring as it shows her dedication to her studies. Otherwise also, she is a good student.”
Her two older sisters had also studied from this government school. The eldest one is now is the final year of her B.Com course, and also takes care of their dairy animals at home. Prabhjot’s other sister, is a Class IX student, but doesn’t work in the fields owing to ill health.
“When we reach home in the evening, at times there is no power. Moreover, I am tired as well. Hence, I found fields to be the best place to give the online exam. I am writing all papers in paddy fields only,” said Prabhjot.
Her only brother is in Class V. Sekhon said, “We also provide photocopies of question papers to many students who have no smartphone or their family members take phone at work. At times, parents as well as students lie to avoid giving exam. When we cross-check, we find out the truth. Hence for such students, Prabhjot can be a source of inspiration.”
Sumeet Singh, a Class X student of the same village is also sitting in his family’s tubewell motor room and writing his exam.
Another student had sent a photo of him even writing papers while sitting near his father’s fruit rehri in Golewala village.
Another boy wrote his paper while sitting in a kirana shop where he was helping his father. Likewise, students are posting pictures which show the conditions in which they are living.
District Education Officer (DEO) Pardeep Jaura said he wished a bright future for all such children who are dedicated to their studies and even working to help their parents.
Meanwhile, a picture of Prabhjot has been shared by the state education department on its website. Online exams started on July 13 for classes VI-XII and will continue till this weekend. Students are given 24 hours to submit their answer sheets.
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