In the last few days, Pawan Kumar Kanojia read news reports on the joy of parents of toppers in the Class XII state board examinations. He sighed a little when he got his results on Saturday — 83.6 per cent in the non-medical stream, but a smile broke through nevertheless.
“Who says I am not a topper? I am. I have to become something in life now and ensure that my father doesn’t have to iron somebody’s clothes and struggle day in and day out to pay my fees,” said Pawan, 17, whose father irons clothes in Janta Enclave of Dugri.
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“I too thought — who cares for those who get less than 90 per cent these days? Even 95 is considered low. Nothing less than first rank makes news. But every mark in my 83.6 is for my father. No one will ever know that. I used to be in a government school till eighth grade but then he sent me off to a CBSE school seeing my interest in studies,” said Pawan a student of BCM Basant City, who also delivers clothes to his father’s clients. “My aim is clear. I am looking at civil engineering.”
Eighteen-year-old Vivek Singh is an orphan. His mother had died six years ago and his father died in a rail accident last year, making him the head of his family — his 15-year-old sister Anjali who studies in Arya Outri Pathshala. He scored 77 per cent in the Class XII state board examinations in vocational stream.
“Being a topper doesn’t mean much for me. I earn Rs 3,000. I pay for my sister’s schooling which comes to about Rs 300 and the rest goes into the household,” said Vivek, a student of government senior secondary school Doraha. “People advised me to drop out and work for my sister, but what is the value of an illiterate in society? Nothing. Now I will pursue a diploma in textile dyeing,” he said.