These students overcame all odds
From a mother-son duo to a homeless student to a differently-abled student, Kranti Vibhute and Veda Ramaswamy report on the students who scripted their success stories despite many hurdles along the way
Exam’s a family affair for mum and son
When David Mathew (15) appeared for his exams, his mother wasn’t at home wondering how he would fare. Instead, she appeared for the same exams at the insistence of her mother. Shiny Mathew (37) secured 54 per cent while David secured 48 per cent at the board exams conducted by the National Institute Open Schooling (NIOS).
Shiny, a single parent, said, “I am very happy that I passed my NIOS exam with my son David. We both enjoyed studying together and also gave the exams together. I only decided to appear for the exams to help my son and to encourage him. My mother had encouraged me to appear for the board exam, and my son too. David’s friends also supported me a lot.” David said, “My friend, my mother and I used to study together. I enjoyed studying with her, and I forced her to give the exam with me. It was fun studying together and helping each other out. I am thrilled that we both passed this exam together.”
All play doesn’t make you dull
Shubham Premchand Sharma (16), a student of Balmohan Vidyamandir, Dadar scored 96.91 per cent under the sports quota. Shubham, a state-level baseball player was awarded marks for participating in 7th Junior Baseball competition. Shubham was never a bookworm. He only studied for four hours daily, playing games on the computer and practising in the afternoons. “I practiced rigorously two months prior to the competitions. My studies never took a backseat because of my interest in the game,” said Shubham, who aspires to become an IAS officer. He credits his family for being supportive and understanding his love for the game. “Initially, my father had gotten to know that I had scored 92 per cent. I was disappointed, since I was expecting more than 95 per cent. But the moment I saw my result online, I was ecstatic,” said Shubham.
SSC result was music for deaf and dumb student
He can’t hear and can’t speak, but Dev Shah (16), a student studying at Angel Land High School, Andheri (West), proved that success can be achieved if one has a strong will. Against all odds, Dev scored 85.5 per cent and topped in his school. Dev’s father, Ashish Shah, describes his son’s feat as nothing short of a miracle. “Dev was born three months premature, which gave rise to a hearing defect. Making it through the critical condition was the first miracle. Achieving his exceptional score, in spite of his disability, is the second miracle,” said Ashish Shah. Dev completed his pre-primary schooling from Shruti School, a special school in Juhu. “We decided that we would send him to a regular school with other children. The teachers were cooperative and gave him undivided attention. He was regular with his studies and homework. No stress-no pressure — this was his motto,” said Ashish. On being asked about his ambition for the future, Dev explained in sign language, “I want to score 90 per cent in HSC.” He plans to pursue further studies in the commerce stream.
Fast track to success
For 17-year-old Ankush Baleshwar Prasad passing the SSC with 80.91 per cent is nothing short of a dream come true. As a young lad who lived at Kanpur railway station, he overcame all odds to score a high percentage.
His story is one of triumph over hardship. Ankush, who currently stays at Sneha Sadan, a shelter for homeless kids, said, “When I was small I remember studying in kindergarten, but later when I got lost at the age of eight, I started living at Kanpur railway station. After that I was shifted to a rehabilitation centre where I stayed for three years. I learnt stitching there. Since many kids at the centre were running away, I too ran away and reached CST railway station. At a Amchi Kholi (Baal Ashray), a shelter for kids, I was asked whether I wanted to study by the volunteers. The NGO sent me to a municipal school. In 2006 when I was brought to Sneha Sadan I started my schooling from Std V and that too without any background of schooling. I always wanted to study. I wanted to score better than 80.91 per cent, but don’t know how I got less. I wish to study for a diploma in IT engineering.”
Determination kept him moving towards goal
Tushar Parmar, SSC student from Dalwai Educational Trust Goregaon English School, is not among those students who went for private tuitions for all subjects or had a special room in his house to study. A son of a BMC worker Tushar Parmar (15) scored 87.64 per cent. He said, “My mother is a housewife and my father works in the BMC. I fared well in my exams because of my elder sister’s guidance and my schoolteachers. I always had a curiosity to know what is the reason behind any particular thing and my ambition is to become a scientist and do a lot of research.”
88.94: Pass percentage for fresh examinees
0: Pass percentage for 23 schools spread over Mumbai, Thane and Raigad districts
682: The number of Mumbai schools out of a total 3,356 who enjoyed a 100 % pass percentage
48: No of cheating cases