It was mid of May. A tiny little girl, about 10 years old, was sitting with her friend Jyoti under a small cottage. It was built in the middle of a mango
orchard 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 was existing in this village was founded by our own Chacha Nehru during his hay-days. Although, he never came back to found another one. The end result ?? Even now there was no intermediate school in and around the radius of 10 k.m from this village !!
Here is how the conversation goes
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. Oh.. 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, our family won't be able to afford the hefty cost of my stay in a decent 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 a wide-grin). At that very moment, the girl I knew she got through it, yes she 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
The D-Day finally arrives and everybody from girl's family is inside the school-campus. The girl sees a very big school in front of her eyes,it was really like her dream school and she just stood there, looking all around, trying to let the feeling of accomplishment sink-inside. She was very fascinated with the fact that she is going to be part of school's hostel, where there will be a proper routine and school dress. Almost everybody from girl's family was crying profusely at the thoughts of being separated from this charming girl. Even her father's eyes were full of tears. But she was too naive to understand those high-emotions running through. Almost oblivious of all these happenings, she just goes ahead and starts running towards hostel gate like a horse and then returns back with equal speed. She does this round few times. Finally its time for her parents to leave. She looks back only once at her parents and siblings and swings her hand to say good-bye to them, before disappearing in the crowd of new students, all lined up to join the school on that very day.
This episode was shot at a time, when parents all over Bihar were so fascinated to Navodaya Vidyalayas. A typical middle-class family was not having any choice for their children, except Navodaya.
Thanks Navodaya.Thanks for all that you have provided. You provided the turning point when a girl stepped outside from
PS: I tried three times for Navodaya examinations impersonating as three different students :-) First time as Suman Kumar, Second time as Sumanjee and Third time as Suman Saurabh. But I was deemed not-good-enough for Navodaya Vidyalaya. But that doesn't stop me from admiring it, though !!