Some of the finest examples and true stories of grit and determination always originate in government and aided schools. Two such tales of bright young boys holding promise to their parents were seen at Baby High School, a government-aided institution in West Tambaram.

S. Karthik topped the school with 475 marks, including a centum in Mathematics. He was just 5 years old when his father Subramani, a daily wage earner died in a road accident, leaving his mother Latha to support her and her 3 sons.

She sent her elder son Sathish Kumar and second son Karthik to a hostel in Uthiramerur in Kancheepuram district, where they studied from class I to VI. The boys then studied till class X at Baby School.

“We live in Kunrathur. My sons travel all the way till Tambaram to school. I was working as a maid for a long time and the monthly income was too meager,” said Ms. Latha. It was not until three years ago that she got a job at a sweet shop in Guduvanchery. Her monthly income of Rs. 7,000 is barely enough to support herself and her 3 sons, but that did not stop her from ensuring that they received the best care.

“I am now very happy that my son has topped the school. My elder son is in college and I am so glad that my sons are working hard, realising the tough times we all have been through,” she said. Her youngest son Surya has just been promoted to class X this year. It was tough during prolonged hours of power disruption but an emergency lamp sponsored by Karthik’s hostel was of great help, Ms. Latha said. She added that neither she nor her husband had ever gone to school.


“I will opt for Biology group in plus one. One of my uncles has offered to support me for the next two years of my school in Tirunelveli. Whatever little success we have achieved is only because of my mother,” Karthik said. His aim is to pursue medicine, but for the next two years, it is going to be nothing but sheer hard work, he added.

 S. K. Dinesh is his classmate, coming second in school scoring 471 marks. Son of Subramani, a cobbler and Kanniamma, a maid, Dinesh is slightly disappointed that he scored at least 10 marks lesser than he anticipated. Nevertheless, he wants to make amends in the plus two examinations. He will be joining the Biology group in plus one and hopes to study engineering.

“He will even skip his meals, but would never miss to complete his lessons on time. He would normally wake up at 4 a.m. and even at 3 a.m. if he feels he has to prepare more,” Ms. Kanniamma said. The family belongs to the Arundathiyar community and according to her, not many among them go very far beyond schooling. She has studied till class VII, while her husband has completed plus two.

Dinesh sounds confident that he will not let down the hope his mother has placed on him and that he would score an even higher percentage in plus two.