Poverty smothers dreams of Dalit girl scoring 91% in secondary exam

Mungaoli (Ashoknagar, Madhya Pradesh): Rakhi Ahirwar has scored 455 out of 500 marks in the Higher Secondary School Certificate Exam conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education. A resident of village Duder, about three kms from here, Rakhi will be presented a laptop by the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at a function at Bhopal on June 9 under a government scheme.

However, despite scoring 91%, Rakhi, who comes from a Dalit family, will not study any further. Reason: Grinding poverty.

Her father Maunnilal Ahriwar had passed away five years back. His mother Sunita Bai now toils in the fields to keep the house running. One of her two siblings – her brother Ravi – is living at her maternal uncle’s place.

Kerosene lamp

As her home did not have a power connection, Rakhi studied under the light of a kerosene lamp. Becoming a police officer was her dream. But that is unlikely to become a reality now.

Her mother is clear that she cannot afford to get Rakhi admitted to a college. “Bahut ho gaya,” she says matter-of-factly. She wants Rakhi to help in making ends meet.