15-year-old Gayatri Mohanty’s dream of pursuing higher studies from a reputed college seemed like a distant reality despite scoring 94 per cent in her SSC exams. After her father met with an accident that left him bedridden for a while, her mother worked as a cook to make ends meet.
When Mohanty was shor-listed to pursue a course in Technical Chemistry from VJTI, her joy knew no bound. However, it was only shortlived, as the course fee of Rs 13,500 was beyond her family’s means.
But soon help poured in from Khaghar-based Swami Avdeshanand Welfare Association that agreed to help her out. “We help less fortunate children by looking after their food, education and medical needs. Since the girl had scored excellent marks and was willing to study further, we thought she should not miss this opportunity.
We gave her a cheque immediately and assured the parents that we will help out with her further studies as well,” said Ramprasad Muduli, trustee of the association.
Mohanty, who studied in Rajashri Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Vidyalaya, excelled at academics throughout her schooling days. She scored well in her SSC exams despite not attending any tuition.
“My husband met with an accident two years ago. Because of that he can’t do much work. I go to cook at a house and manage to make Rs 1,000 per month. We have three children and household expenses to think about. So even
Rs 13,500 seemed like a huge amount,” said Bhagyashree, Mohanty’s mother. Her father works as a watchman and makes a meagre sum of
Rs 4,000 per month.
“I will make the most of this opportunity, get a good job and strive to give my parents a happy life,” Mohanty said. She wants to focus on improving her English language skills as she feels that is the only thing that is holding her back. “I am from a Marathi medium school so my English is not really good,” she said.
A resident of Adivasi Katkari Pada, a slum in Rabale, Mohanty heard about the organisation and approached them for help. “For her SSC exams Gayatri used to study till 2 am.
I am happy that her hard work has paid off,” added Bhagyashree, who couldn’t pursuer education. “She is in fact the first girl in our village, Borongo (Orissa), to have studied so much,” she beamed.