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No financial, physical hurdles for Class XII heroes

The Class XII results of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) this year, which were declared on Monday, threw up success stories of courage and perseverence. Rachit Malik was in nursery when he was diagnosed with macular degeneration, an eye condition that makes it difficult for him to read or function normally. More than a decade later, Malik has made his life into a glowing example of how to face the challenges life throws at you and emerge a winner. The 17-year-old commerce student scored 93.8 per cent in the CBSE Class XII board examination, the results of which were announced on Monday.

The 17-year-old Monika's father Ramkishan toiled everyday in the construction sites to provide for his family. Her elder sister Soniya had to discontinue education because of the financial difficulties in the family. It was these cirumstances that, perhaps, motivated Monika to burn the midnight lamp. Or candles, if you insist. And, with an 82 per cent score in the Class XII examination, Monika has ensured that her future will be brighter than her father's.

'I was very clear about life. I opted to read books instead of going outside. I began preparation right from the beginning of the semester. If there was a power cut, I would sit with candles. I would not let anything come in my way.' says Monika.

If for Monika focus was the key, Malik, a student of Amity International School in Noida, is all praise for his school and friends who stood by him over the years. 'I don't need Braille books or someone to write my exams for me. But, I read books with enlarged prints. I can't read handwritings, either my own or anyone else's. I can write, but only because I know the space between the rules out of habit. I can't see what I am writing. In the class, I couldn't see the writing on the boards, so some friend would read aloud to me and I would copy it,' says Malik. At home, he and his 13-year-old brother, who suffers from the same eye condition, have the support of his mother, a home-maker, and his businessman father.

Monika lives with her family in the slums of south-east Delhi. 'I was born in Delhi. My father, for the last 20 years, worked hard to support us with his meagre earnings. Now, it is my time to take care of my family. If that means I would have to forego my ambitions to become an IAS officer and be a government school teacher, I would not hesitate. But, I want to become an IAS officer,' said Monika.

Malik, on the other hand, even though is wistful of the things that most his age could do, is not the one to crib. He is already busy planning the path ahead. 'I don't think I want to go into business. I'd prefer a good job. I want to study BBS and would like to join Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies.' And, if his eyes are miraculously cured one day, he would 'like to ride one of those really cool bikes'.
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