Revisiting The Childhood Days

It was mid of May. A small little girl, about 10 years old, was sitting with her friend Jyoti under a small cottage of mango garden in a remote village in North Bihar called Jagatpur. This non-descript village came under the very district Supaul,which attained nation-wide-media coverage few months ago owing to the devastating floods, dubbed as a national calamity by our own prime-minister Dr. Manmohan Singh (Or should I say glorified care-taker of a real PM sitting in 10, Janpath !!)

The only middle-school that is existing in this village was founded by owr own Nehru Chacha during his hay-days, although he never came back to found another one. The result ?? Even now there was no intermediate school in and around the radius of 10 k.m from this village !!

Small Girl: My friend, Do you know today it will be decided whether I would be a special girl or a simple ordinary girl?? I do not know what God is going to do with me ??

Jyoti: Why ? what will happen today?

Small Girl: My father went to supaul(near by town) to see my navodaya entrance result.

Jyoti was somewhat bemused at this question of her friend. Apparently, she was thinking that since she already belongs to a socially affluent and financially well-off family in this village, this girl is already destined to succeed. O.. By the way Jyoti has never got a chance to attend any school .

Jyoti: If you would pass your exam then what will happen?

Small girl:You do not know,it will change my life dramatically.it will be like I would go to heaven from hell.Please pray to God for my result.You know very well there is not a single good school in supaul district except navodaya(just to add, its a free govt school with all facilities including fooding,lodging and all your academic expenses). Papa will not allow me to go to patna because first thing that i am too young a girl to go outside. Secondly, he won’t be able to afford the hefty cost of staying in a good hostel.

Jyoti: You do not worry, you will surely get your goal.

Looks like God was also listening to this conversation, after all he is ubiquitous, isn’t he ?? So God answered to the pray of these two little girls. We could see Papa coming towards her. Even though he was far off, we could see a great smile written all over his face(Probably he is not that good at hiding his emotions and so he was not at all able to hide his great smile). I knew I got through it, yes I got it !!

Papa: Hey,dear do you know today you fulfilled my dream.I was not at all expecting it from you because you were looking youngest among all other students sitting in navodaya examination hall. Today its your day. You have made me and this village proud. Tell me, what do you want ?? Whatever you want, you can ask for, anything !! Today I am really very happy for you.

Small girl: I am also too happy.I want to do what you never allowed me to do. You never allowed me to take bath in pumping set water with my village girl friends. I want to do it please papa. This is what I want as my reward.

Papa: Ok dear. As you wish, I am sure you could have asked for more. Today you can do whatever you want.

Small girl: Thank you papa,You are so sweet.

AFTER ONE MONTH

I saw a very big school,it was really like my dream school and I was standing in front of the school.I was very fascinated for big school’s hostel where there will be a proper routine and school dress.I was with my mummy,papa, didi and Rahul who all were crying profusely for being separated of me. Even papa’s eyes were full of tears. But I just went ahead and was running towards hostel gate like anything. Come on, after all this was my dream-school !! I looked back once at my parents and siblings and swung my hand to say bye to them.

This shows that time in north Bihar parents were so fascinated to navodaya. A typical middle-class family was not having any choice for their children, except Navodaya .This was the turning point when a girl stepped outside from the village and got a direction to get success and do whatever she always wanted to do.

Thanks Navodaya. Thanks for all that you have provided. I am not sure, if anything can be done to revive its fortune and flagging health in wake of mushrooming english-medium private-schools and people’s obsession about these schools. But I owe my life, my success to you Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Supaul !!

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