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This is a lovely and heart-warming story from rural India. Pleased at the first girl from their community appearing at the matriculation exam, the entire Dalit villagers from Dub Tol village in Sitamarhi district accompanied her to the examination centre to wish her good luck. The story is making waves in the area.
Dub Tol village tucked away in Bathuara panchayat of Parihar block is dominated by Dalit villagers. The total population of this village is about 900 but no girl from this Dalit village ever appeared at the matriculation examination. A few youths from this village, though, studied at the graduation level, battling all odds as their parents were mainly the daily wage earners and dependent on others for survival.
So, when Indira Kumari passed the pre-board examination with good marks and was qualified for appearing at the matriculation examination being conducted by the state-run Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB), the joy of the entire village knew no bounds. They literally went into celebration.
Finally on Thursday when Indira left for the local Middle School examination centre to sit in the exam, the villagers couldn’t control themselves as the entire village literally accompanied the girl to see her off and wish her good luck in the major test of her academic career. It was really a pleasing scene seeing the villagers waving their hands at the girl as she walked inside the exam centre, carrying a pen and admit card in hand. Her father Mahesh Manjhi is employed as a labourer in Tamil Nadu.
“She (Indira) is an inspiration for all of us. She battled all difficulties in her life but didn’t quit studies. We salute her dedication for study,” local Mukhiya Dhaneshwar Paswan said, adding from now on other girls from Dalit community would follow her.
A non-profit organization, Bachpan Bachao Aandolan’s local project manager Mukund Kumar Chaudhary said they were elated to see the first Dalit girl from the village appearing at the matriculation examination. “We are really very happy now. We encouraged her by gifting a pen. We are hopeful that she will pass with good marks,” Chaudhary added.
A total of 16.48 lakh students are appearing at the matriculation examination being conducted by the BSEB this time. Of them, 8.6 lakh are girls and 8.42 lakh are boys. In a way the number of girl and boy examinees is almost equal, indicating growing awareness among females towards education.