Mumbai: HSC student aces exam, day after losing house in fire

While Ankita Solakar managed to write her paper well yesterday despite her house being gutted in the Hirjee Bhojraj Chawl fire the day before, SSC student Shweta Gupta was pleasantly surprised to find that her hall ticket and a few books had survived the blaze

A day after their houses were burnt down in a massive fire right in the middle of board exam season, things began to look up for Ankita Solakar and Shweta Gupta yesterday.

Ruchika Jain sits outside the chawl with the belongings her family managed to salvage. Pic/Suresh KK
Ruchika Jain sits outside the chawl with the belongings her family managed to salvage. Pic/Suresh KK

While Ankita did not let the tragedy come in the way of writing her HSC paper well, Shweta was pleasantly surprised to find that half of her house had survived the fire and that her hall ticket and a few books had remained untouched, enabling her to prepare for her first SSC exam paper today.

Ankita was beaming after her exam, happy at having done well
Ankita was beaming after her exam, happy at having done well

The families of Ankita and Shweta were among those whose houses had been gutted in the fire in the nearly century-old Hirjee Bhojraj Chawl near Cotton Green railway station on Tuesday evening. The families living in the chawl have been allotted 36 rooms in a transit camp at Piramal Nagar in Lower Parel yesterday. Local businessmen and politicians have also come forward to help the grieving families.

Braveheart
Ankita left her relatives’ place, where she began studying for the exams after the fire, at 9.30 am yesterday to inform the authorities about the loss of her hall ticket. She had approached the police and the local corporator on Tuesday night itself to get the certificate needed to allow her to appear for the exam, which she produced at her centre NKES College in Wadala.

To her relief, authorities at the centre co-operated fully with her and allowed her to appear for the examination, which was slated to begin at 11 am. Ankita was beaming as she stepped out of the centre. “I am very happy with how I performed in the paper. I am sure I will get good marks,” she told mid-day. Ankita now has just one more exam to go Book Keeping on March 9 for which she plans to get the necessary study material from her friends.

Silver lining
Shweta, meanwhile, has her first SSC paper today and she was overjoyed to find her hall ticket and a few books safe when she entered her house yesterday. Shweta’s father is a pani puri vendor and the family cannot afford to buy a new set of books. “I can’t believe my hall ticket is safe.

Last night, I was horribly dejected when the firemen informed me that my house had been burned down. I am also glad that a few of my books survived the fire,” Shweta told mid-day yesterday. When mid-day spoke to Chief Fire Officer Sunil Nesarikar yesterday, he said, “The cause of the fire has not been ascertained so far.”

Another student suffers
Ruchika Jain, another Std X student had just returned home after appearing for her Hindi SSC paper on Tuesday when the fire broke out. While Ruchika escaped, her hall ticket and books were reduced to ashes. She is staying at a relative’s place and is studying with the help of her friend’s books. Her last paper is on March 23.

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