Pune: These are Slumdog Millionaires in their own right. Fighting against all odds, these children from slums who either help their parents in rag picking or have taken up part time jobs have proved that they are not left behind when it comes to academics. Staying in shanty houses in and around the city and finding little time to study, they have outdone many who live with the best of amenities.
Standing tall among these children, is Nilesh Thorat, a resident of slum near Kamgar Putla near the Pune court has secured 80 per cent in the SSC exams.
His days begin much before the sun rises as Nilesh sets off with his mother to pick waste, and later gets back to do house hold work, fetching water and later cooking for his mother and his ailing younger brother who is paralysis patient.
The student of Bharat English School in Shivaji Nagar, said "I have been helping my mother ever since my father left us 7 years ago. I cook food and bring water from outside every morning. I help my younger brother who is in IX standard now." "I have no friends and had studied on my own. I am very happy with 80 oer cent," added an ecstatic Nilesh.
Suraj Domate, just like his name, has come out shining and is happy with scoring a 51 per cent. He said, "I did not get much help from anyone and hardly found time to study at night as my father left us when I was little. I help my mother with the household chores while my elder brother helps unloading goods from a truck."
The student of New English School, Kulsungi wants to help his little brother score better marks and also wants to complete graduation.
75% scorer, Samadhan Gavli, a resident of Nimbole, a student at Shri Chatrapati Sambhaji Vidyalay said " I and my friends used to study together and also my teachers helped me a lot."
The unfortunate circumstances made Samadhan walk down to his school at night because of the absence of electricity at home. "I work as a milkman in the morning everyday and then do odd jobs to get money. I would go to school at night and my sir DP Shirsagar who helped me a lot to get through."
The determined Samadhan wants to become an engineer and help others get educated.
The focus and determination of these kids have not only made us all proud but also have proved to be an inspiration to all the citizens of Pune.