He lost his crops but not his determination. Sarvesh Verma, son of a small-time farmer Swaminath who is among many farmers grieving over their weather-ravaged crops, topped the class X UP Board examinations by securing 96.83% marks. All thanks to his father, who despite living in adverse situations took a loan to ensure that his son doesn’t lose out on education. This year, students of small towns dominated the class X results in the state.
With 96.67%, the second position was secured by Hani of Archana Memorial Inter College, Etawah and Bunty Verma of SSPDS Inter College, Kasganj. Anjali Patel of Young Stream Academy Inter College, Barabanki, stood third.Speaking to TOI over phone from Basti, Sarvesh said, “We lost 50% of wheat and rice this year. I saw my father, who also sell vegetables outside the house, toiling for 14 hours a day just to earn an extra penny to make ends meet.”Every day, Sarvesh cycled 10 km to reach his school (GSAS Academy) where his teachers kept motivating him. “I use to study four hours in the morning and four hours in the night daily. My journey has just begun,” said Sarvesh who wants to become an IAS officer, not only to serve his country but also make his father free from all hardships. With meagre income, it was difficult for a computer-whiz Sarvesh to even think of a laptop or tablet. “One day in school, it was announced that there is a quiz and the winner would win a tablet. I went crazy for it and eventually won the tablet,” said Sarvesh. His school recommended his name to the UP government for inspiration award.For Hani, success was always understanding concepts and not rote-learning. “I had never dreamt of being a topper. While studying, I always listened to music, mostly songs of Arijit Singh,” said she. Anjali Patel attributed her success to self-studies. “It is believed that tuitions enhance your learning but I believe they kill your creativity,” said Anjali who is a voracious reader with Premchand being her favourite.(Originally published in The Times of India)