The son of a farmer in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur district surmounted all odds to score 98.2 per cent in Class 12 examination which has helped him crack admission to one of the prestigious Ivy League Universities in the United States on full scholarship.
18-year-old Anurag Tiwari, a resident of Sarasan village, got selected to Cornell University to pursue higher education in Economics.
Following his interest, Anurag opted for humanities stream despite people advising him to go for the more popular choices including science and commerce.
He reportedly scored 95 marks in Mathematics, 97 in English, 99 in Political Science, and a full 100 both in History and Economics, as per the exam results announced by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Monday, July 13.
Anurag scored 1,370 marks in his Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) which was an important component in admissions to major colleges in the US, in December 2019.
"Congratulations! The admission selection committee in the College of Arts and Sciences has approved your early decision application to Cornell University for the fall of 2020. I am honoured to share this wonderful news with you and to welcome you to the Cornell community," stated Jonathan R Burdick, Vice Provost for Enrollment, in a letter to Anurag in December, according to NDTV.
All that was needed for his dreams to materialise was how well he performed in the board exams.
Narrating his experience, Anurag stated that he had to face several challenges due to his family's financial constraints and had to move to a residential school in Sitapur for education.
"My parents were initially reluctant to send me to Sitapur. My father is a farmer and mother a home-maker. They thought if I go away for studies, I may not return to farming. But my sisters convinced them to allow me to study," Anurag, who studied at the VidyaGyan Leadership Academy, run by the Shiv Nadar Foundation in Sitapur, said.
"Eventually my teachers and counsellors in Delhi advised I could try for Ivy League colleges if I wished to pursue Liberal Arts. There are various good colleges in our country but even those abroad can be good based on my preference for studies. Thus, I applied to Cornell University and took the SAT," he said.
Anurag has set an example for students who quit in the face of hardship. He said that he wants to study Economics as a major subject and Mathematics as a minor and eventually decide if he wants to get into Data Analytics.
"But after completing my education and gaining some work experience, I would certainly want to return to India to work here and also contribute in the education sector," he said.