SSC results: Sons of flower vendor, beggar ace after studying under street lights
Sons of flower vendor and beggar, who studied in a container between traffic lights in Thane, ace Std X exams; Dashrath Pawar wants to become a cop, and Mohan Kale wants to pursue a technical course
The Signal school, started by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) and NGO Samarth Bharat Vyaspeeth (SBV) in a revamped container at the Teen Hath Naka in Thane, shipped out its first batch of SSC successes on Friday — Dashrath Pawar, 17, whose parents sell flowers at the signal, and Mohan Kale, 20, whose parents are destitutes, passed the exam with first class scores.
TMC and SBV started the school two years ago for children who beg or hawk at the signal. Mohan and Dashrath studied in the din of the traffic that passes on either side of the school, to score 77 per cent and 65 per cent respectively.
Dashrath Pawar and Mohan Kale (centre) pose with teachers from the Signal school
A better life
The results hold the promise of a better life for both Dashrath and Mohan, who have grown up at the signal because their parents worked there. For Mohan, the 77 per cent signals a chance to break out of what his family has been doing for three generations - begging. "I'd never gone to school after std V. We used to live under the Teen Haath Naka bridge. When TMC relocated us, we were angry. But when I entered the school for the first time, just out of curiosity, one of our teachers thought I was there to tease children. She asked me to sit in the class and that's when I decided to go back to school. I had solved many papers before the exams, so I was sure of scoring at least 70 per cent. I want to join an industrial training related course and stop my mother from begging."
His family is ecstatic with his scores. His mother still begs at the signal and his father Prabhu, lost both of his legs in an accident a few years ago. Prabhu said, "I didn't know what Mohan was doing. His teacher told me about his result. I don't even understand exactly how many marks he's got, but I am happy that he broke our generational trend and passed SSC. We are all illiterate people but because of him, I think we can learn so many things and life
No flower power
Dashrath's family sells flowers at the signal, but he has no plans to join the family business. He said, "I want to join the police force, so right now, I will give the HSC exam and appear for police exam. I want to learn so many things and my teachers are helping me with all of them. I told my parents about my marks and they were happy, but we didn't celebrate the moment. We'll rejoice in the success once I get a job."
"Had my teachers not beaten up me for studies, I would never have got first class. I used to sleep a lot but teachers would scold me, and changed my schedule. They have done so many things for both of us. We are very lucky," he said.
Motivation for others
Their SSC teacher Suman Shevale said, "Both of them joined us two years ago. We had first prepared them for the Std XI exam and this year, they appeared for SSC. Both of them would study for 10 hours a day. I would ask them if they were disturbed by the honking vehicles. But they never gave any excuses. A month before and during the exam, I took them to my home to study."
Bhatu Sawant, CEO of SBV said, "This is a huge achievement for us. Our aim was to inculcate education into their lives. However, their hard work and determination has led them to such heights. I have seen other children throwing so many tantrums during the exam period. Parents always give them a separate room with an air conditioner so they can study properly. But these children don't have anything; they have to study amid the noise of vehicles and so many things, they have still achieved this. This is really a matter of pride for us. It will be of great motivation for other students as well."
Dashrath Pawar's score
Mohan Kale's score
Total of students in the school
No. of students in the school when it started
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