Biplap Mandal had barely finished writing his board exam when a sea of media persons greeted him at the entrance of Bahirgacchi Secondary High School in West Bengal’s Nadia district. Standing alongside the lined up cameras were his parents.
But his parents weren’t really there just to support their only son, a tradition common in most Bengali households. They were there to write their exams too.
Residents of Patkibati village, Balaram and Kalyani Mandal are now matching steps with their 18-year-old son Biplab. Owing to financial problems, they had dropped out of school at an early age and work as farm labourers.
Balaram fishes out his book while taking his cattle out for grazing. When he returns home, all three sit together to study, an exercise that had stretched for up to 10 hours a day in the run-up to the exams.
The trio are students of Hazrapur High School in Dhantala of Nadia district, where they attended classes for the past two years. The principal had requested the board to take up their cause, following which Balaram and Kalyani were granted permission to take the exams.
Even as Biplap hopes to join college in a couple of months, his parents aren’t sure if they can walk along this time.
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam