In a heartwarming display of determination and commitment, a mother and son duo from the waste-picking community of India recently took the Class 10 state board exams together. Despite facing numerous challenges, including financial struggles and limited resources, they passed the exams with flying colours.
Manthan Telange, a 16-year-old student, earned an impressive 64%, while his mother, Monica, who works as a waste picker, achieved a respectable 51.8% mark.
The single mother, who lives in Hadapsar vasti with her family, used to read study material from her son Manthan's school WhatsApp group. She wanted to finish her matriculation because it was the minimal requirement for many professions.
Monika said, "I always wanted to study but didn't know how to fill out a form. My son insisted on pursuing my education and guided me throughout. I always thought I would fail, but all my co-workers and supervisor supported me. Being a single mother was very difficult for me, but if I can pass 10th, then who is stopping me from passing 12th?"
While Monika is preparing for her 12th-grade exam, the proud son is preparing for the NEET and wants to become a doctor to help support his mother.
"Mathan was my 'tutor'. He wants to become a doctor and will prepare for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). I want to do a nursing course and prepare for Class 12 exams in future," Monika stated.
Waste-Picking Community Shines in SSC Result
Similar to previous years, children of waste pickers in the Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP) performed well in the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) examination.
Sairaj Tatyarao Sonawane of Bhawani Peth garnered 81.20%. He has seen both his parents work hard for him to continue his studies. "My father works as a bathroom cleaner, and my mother as an office cleaner. I couldn't understand many things as I never got any tuition. I started working hard toward the end, and my parents were proud of me."
Harshada Raju Umap of Bibwewadi scored 77%. "I passed class 8th and 9th during Covid. It was challenging to understand everything in the online mode. My mother is a rag picker, and my father is a sweeper. They have always supported me. I was a fine student, but my parents couldn't afford tuition. So, I faced many difficulties in understanding certain subjects like maths," she explained.
"I am delighted that I finally scored well, and I want to become a police officer to give them a good life," she added, according to a report in The Indian Express
Jayesh Navgire, who has lived with his sister and mother since his father abandoned him fourteen years ago, has received 64%. Sonali Kisan Rathod was transferred to Maher Institute after her parents died eleven years ago. Sonali, who only has brothers, had a grade of 65%.
"We urge schools to be more proactive in supporting these children and their families. They still face issues like bureaucratic hassles while applying for scholarships, tacit discrimination, and sometimes a lack of academic support. The ball is in the school administrators' court to stand up for these children who have shown nothing but a burning passion for learning through their hard work and dedication," said Aditya Vyas, a KKPKP activist.
These stories are a testament to the power of hard work and perseverance and inspire many.
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