Story behind Haryana Board 10th toppers: Daughters who are raised like ‘sons’

Shyna Kalra
HSEB Haryana Board 10th toppers: Sanju, Isha Devi and Shalini Sharma. (Graphic By Rajan Sharma)

The Haryana Board has released class 10 result today in which over 3.85 lakh students appeared. In the state that has one of the poorest sex ratios in the country, girls have outperformed boys in the matric board exam. A total of 1,65,235 girls appeared for the Haryana Board class 10 exam out of which 1,02,728 cleared the same. The pass percentage of girls was 62.17 per cent which was much higher than the overall percentage of 57.39 per cent and performance of boys at 53.43 per cent.

The rank one was jointly bagged by three girls – Sanju, Isha, Shalini and one boy – Himanshu. All of these students have secured 497 marks out of 500 and obtained 99.4 per cent marks. On rank two, there is a tie between four students, all of whom are girls. Apart from the hard work of the top rank holding girls in the board exam, there are two other common threads – they are all from the economically backward families and all claim to be ‘raised like sons’.

Daughter of a labourer who wants to become PM: Isha

Hailing from Kaithal district of Haryana, Isha Devi, has secured 497 out of 500 marks. She scored 100 in English, mathematics and Sanskrit. In her family of four, her father – a daily wager – is the only earner. Yet, shares the 16-year-old, she has studied in a private school as her parents wanted to give her ‘the best’ education.

Talking to indianexpres.com she said, "My father is a labourer. While I understand that there are hardships in the family, my parents never made me feel it, neither did it came between me and my studies. I studied 10 hours a day after school. My family was very supportive and never asked me to do household chores. In fact, I feel that I am given more love and care in my family than my elder brother."

"When I will grow up, I would want to become the Prime Minister of India. I will be powerful and then help downtrodden to rise. I would create jobs so that people can earn their way to a better life," said Isha who has already taken non-medical as the stream in class 11.

Daughter of a carpenter who wishes to be an IAS: Sanju

Daughter of a carpenter, Sanju has secured 100 marks in science, mathematics and Sanskrit while she has obtained 98 marks in social science and Hindi. She too has a total of 497 out of 500 marks. The 16-year-old used to wake up at 5 am in the morning every day and followed a strict time table. "My parents have supported me a lot in my studies, unlike my peers, I never had the pressure of cooking or doing household chores. They provided me with an atmosphere where I could study on my own accord without much worries or stress," said Sanju.

She said that she studied for 8 hours a day and took 15-30 minutes of breaks in between. Her father is a carpenter in Jhajjar. She wants to become an IAS officer. "IAS officers have great respect in society. I wish to become an IAS officer and with the power that comes with it I would work towards the betterment of the society," said the topper who has opted for non-medical (physics, chemistry, mathematics) in class 11.

Daughter of a government school teacher who wishes to be a doctor: Shalini

Shalini Sharma from Jind said that she used the internet to supplement her studies. Both her parents and her maternal grandfather are teachers but she wanted to do something ‘different’ and chose to study medicine in class 11. "There is no other field as medicine. A doctor has the power to save lives. I wish to become a successful doctor," said the Haryana Board class 10 topper. She has secured 100 marks in science, mathematics and English. She also got 99 and 98 marks in physical education and Hindi respectively.

She used to study 6-7 hours daily after school and maintained a study routine. She said that she focused on NCERT books as they are the "base" for the board exams. She is the eldest of three siblings and considered mathematics to be the easiest subject.

Crediting her success to her parents, she said, "My parents are very supportive. They are the ones who motivated me even when I did not feel focused. Every year in Haryana Board results, girls score better than boys. I know about parents who do not think that investing on a girls’ education is not profitable but I feel that the pride that girls have bought in the board results is no less than the boys, in fact, boys should take inspiration from girls who have fared better."