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Jharkhand girls make it to toppers’ list defying odds

It’s been a hard road to success for Aarti who now hopes to become an Indian Administrative Service official one day

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St.Aloysius School Ranchi Jharkhand affiliated to the Jharkhand Academic Council Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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By Nityanand Shukla, Ranchi: Nothing could stop Aarti Kumari of Ranchi. Defying all the odds — poverty to displacement — this girl from Jharkhand stood out in her effort to make a mark. Today she has tasted success: Aarti is at the second spot in this year’s Arts intermediate merit list published by the Jharkhand Academic Council (JAC).

Aarti had lost her father in 2015 when she was studying in the 12th standard. It was then left to her mother to shoulder the responsibilities. But a distraught Aarti could not take the JAC exam that year.

But she pulled herself together and made up her mind. This year, she took the test and the JAC result proved that she’s one of the brightest students in Jharkhand.

Her mother has been the pillar of strength for Aarti and her brother, who has also completed his engineering studies.

Besides losing her father, Aarti had to face displacement as the family was forced to vacate their tenement in Naga Baba Khatal. They took shelter in another part of Ranchi. It was a tough time, but Aarti was constantly supported by her mother who told her to never deviate from her academic pursuits.

It’s been a hard road to success for Aarti who now hopes to become an Indian Administrative Service official one day.

Similar is the story of Gayatri Singh of Gumla district. Her parents work at a brick kiln in Uttar Pradesh. Gayatri, however, didn’t follow them to the neighbouring state — she stayed back along with her sisters and brother, who works in a local store.

Gayatri had been adamant that despite financial constraints and the troubles that come with it, she would never give up studying. Her brother worked hard to ensure that Gayatri was not forced to drop out.

The result has been spectacular: Gayatri is at the third spot on the JAC merit list.

No wonder then that the neighbours are happy — the girl next door has made them proud, proving that nothing can come in the way if one is powered by a dream, determination and hard work.

Another shining example of grit and determination is Reeta Nupur Kujur of Lohardaga district who followed her dreams even as she got married and gave birth to a son. She has secured 10th position as per the JAC merit list.

Reeta got married after taking her matriculation exam. The marital life took away much of her time, as she became a mother. But her wish to pursue studies remained etched deep in her heart. Thankfully, she was encouraged by her husband, a farmer, who understood the need to study if Reeta was to fulfil her dream to become an Indian Police Service official one day.

So after a gap of six years, Reeta got back to the study materials and took admission in a women’s college. There has been no looking back since then. Reeta now plans to pursue graduate course in English and then chase her dream to become an IPS official. (Source: IANS)

(Nityanand Shukla can be contacted at nityanand.s@ians.in)

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Child Rights Summit: Nations Should Spend More on Education Over Weapons

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Displaced Syrian children look out from their tents at Kelbit refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, in Idlib province, Syria, Jan. 17, 2018. VOA

Countries should spend more on schooling and less on weapons to ensure that children affected by war get an education, a child rights summit heard Monday.

The gathering in Jordan was told that a common thread of war was its devastating impact in keeping children out of school.

Indian Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, who founded the summit, said ensuring all children around the world received a primary and secondary education would cost another $40 billion annually — about a week’s worth of global military expenditure.

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child rights summit
Nobel Peace Prize laureates Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai listen to speeches during the Nobel Peace Prize awards ceremony at the City Hall in Oslo, Dec. 10, 2014. VOA

“We have to choose whether we have to produce guns and bullets, or we have to produce books and pencils to our children,” he told the second Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit that gathers world leaders and Nobel laureates.

Global military expenditure reached almost $1.7 trillion in 2016, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said last year 27 million children were out of school in conflict zones.

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“We want safe schools, we want safe homes, we want safe countries, we want a safe world,” said Satyarthi, who shared the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize with Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai for his work with children.

Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al-Hussein told the summit, which focused on child refugees and migrants affected by war and natural disasters, that education was “key,” especially for “children on the move.”

“Education can be expensive, but never remotely as close to what is being spent on weapons. … They [children] are today’s hope for a better future,” he told the two-day summit.

Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, a nonprofit group, described the number of Syrian refugees not in school in the Middle East as “shocking” as the war enters its eighth year.

Kennedy cited a report being released Tuesday by the KidsRights Foundation, an international children’s rights group, which found 40 percent of school-aged Syrian children living in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq cannot access education. VOA