18-year-old, young girl, Bernita Mondal prefers to study in the kitchen at night so that she doesn’t disturb her parents sleeping in the next room.
“I fan myself while studying. And try and not think about anything. Doing well in the exams is my top priority.”
Bernita came to Bangalore from a small town in West Bengal with her parents when she was a little girl. Her father is an auto rickshaw driver and her mother is a house wife. Because her parents are illiterate and they felt education can rule out all their problems. They encouraged Bernita to study to fight against poverty and gain respect in the society. Her father committed himself to doing odd jobs to earn money. He worked as cleaner in restaurants until he bought an auto-rickshaw. When Bernita’s high-school fee increased, her father took to carrying luggage till the railway platforms for his passengers. “It was getting very difficult to manage the cost of education along with the household expenses.” Bernita’s mother told Hindustan Times.
A nun at Bernita’s school advised her to approach an NGO named Vidya to ask for help. “Someone from the NGO met my parents and after they were convinced, Vidya agreed to pay half of my fee. They have been funding me since then.” Bernita told.
Bernita has been studying hard so she could help her parents and make them feel proud. She scored 95% in her 12th board exams.
Bernita has enrolled herself for BTech. She aims to earn the gold medal awarded to rank-holders in her college every semester. She dreams of studying MTech abroad. “A scholarship would be great. But if I don’t get one, I hope to get a job and relieve my father of the family’s financial burden.”
She says, “I might not have money to take tuition(s) but what I have is the ability to work hard.” She studies in advance for her next day’s class, everyday.
Her determination deserves a salute. More power to you, Bernita!
News and Image Source : HT