Poverty did not douse these bright sparks

Poverty did not douse these bright sparks

Rich in courage


A typical day for the daughter of illiterate labourers began at 4 am to study till 6 am. Then she would finish domestic work and head to school. After school hours, she would work as domestic help and study between 7 pm to 10 pm.

And yet, Shobha has managed to secure 92 per cent and is the top scorer in her school.
“I want to study Science and become an engineer, but I have resigned my future to my fate,” she told Deccan Herald.

Grinding poverty, small congested houses with no power supply or massive outages, the burden of domestic chores and having to walk several kilometres to reach school every day... The list of challenges that students from North Karnataka overcame to excel in the SSLC and PUC examinations are formidable.

Consider the story of Shankar Shivaram Guddad, who secured 83 per cent in Commerce in second PU. He worked in a photo studio, a painting shop and a hardware store after college hours.

ShankarShankar’s father deserted the family when he was just a year old. The house that the family lived in was so congested that he would study in the college campus from 6 to 9 pm. He plans to do his BCom.

Saleem Mallik, whose father passed away when he was a child worked at construction sites, supplied milk and was a farm labourer. Still he managed to secure 89 per cent in PU Arts.

Mallik’s small house at Dadesugur village in Sindhanur taluk of Raichur District has no power connection. He studied in lantern light between 4 am and 6 am. He would travel about eight kilometres daily from his village to his college in Sirguppa.

A modest Saleem says he wants to become a Kannada teacher, but his teachers have bigger dreams. “He is best suited for civil service exams. And we have decided to help him clear it,” says Veeresh Savadi, a teacher.

Mallikarjun Thalewad from Kolar district came to Bagalkot two years ago to pursue PU Commerce at Basaveshwar PU College. He stayed at Swami Vivekananda Ashram and survived on free food at Varada Mallappa Hostel. He got 89 per cent. “When he joined our college, he was very weak in all subjects but had a great thirst for knowledge,” Mallik’s lecturer Shivakumar Ganachari said.

Mallik wants to become a chartered accountant, but is not sure if his family’s poverty will let him realise his dreams.