Most of the SSC students who crossed the hurdle would be celebrating with their families, but for these students from the red light area, who passed with flying colours, celebration is mostly limited to themselves.
They could study peacefully for only two hours, at Sai NGO. But that two hours helped them score more than 70%.
Suraj Shukla (17) passed with 69.60%. Living in a 10×10 house at a noisy South Mumbai red light area and studying was a big challenge. Shukla said, "I am happy with what I have scored. My parents, especially mother, is happy that someone in the family scored a first class in SSC. I have always wanted to be a doctor, but don't have the money for it. I will opt for commerce. Once I get a job, I want to take my family away from this place." He scored 87 in general maths.
Another student from the area, Sagar Barse (17), who scored 75%, said: "Yes, it's not easy to concentrate on studies staying in Kamathipura. My best score, 85, is in Social Science. I will opt for commerce as it would help me get a job. I am very grateful to Sai NGO, which gave me space to study and also the books."
Asdul Shaikh (17), also a resident of the same area, scored 70%. Shaikh said: "I scored 70%, and hope to get into some commerce college. I want to become a chartered accountant. Studying at Sai NGO was very helpful. They provided us teachers to clear our doubts."
Exams in an ambulance
Another inspiring story is that of Dhyey Amlani (16), a student of Rystomjee International School, Dahisar. He scored 79% by giving most of his exams from an ambulance. He was down with necrotizing pancreatitis two months before the exam. Amlani was in the ICU for 16 days. He said: "I expected to score 90% and above. But my illness let me down. My doctor, Pankaj Gandhi of Amar Nursing Home in Dahisar, encouraged me to give all my exams after I collapsed after my history paper. I used to go to the exam centre at Dahisar in an ambulance.