: Powercuts that lasted through the night in Vaiyampatti near Manapparai did not dim M. Gayathri’s resolve of topping the list of students who passed the SSLC exams this year. This daughter of a bus conductor feels that her top score in the exams is only the first step of her dream for a better life.
“I studied all my portions by candlelight every night,” says Gayathri, a student of Montfort Matric Higher Secondary School, Manjampatti, near Manapparai. “Somehow, before my ambition to succeed, powercuts did not seem a big hurdle,” says the consistent class topper. Gayathri who scored 498 out of 500, shares the first rank with eight other students from the state. She also clocked centums in English, Science and Social Studies, though she missed one mark each in Tamil and Maths.
Gayathri’s classmate Marcia Sherin from the same school matched her score of 498 and also shares the state first rank. Marcia’s father is a government employee and mother, a school teacher. Both girls did not attend tuitions. “We took maximum advantage of the free coaching provided by the school before and after class hours. Revisions and tests did the rest,” says Marcia. Focussing on extra-curricular activities helped take the pressure off her, says Gayathri. “Sitting with a book 24x7 only stresses one out. Games, dancing and quizzing sharpened my enthusiasm to study.”
The friends plan to take the Biology-Maths stream in Plus One and dream of becoming doctors. While Marcia is keen on becoming a child specialist, Gayathri aspires to become a cardiologist. “Heart defects are among the most common birth defects in our country. I hope to treat many children, including those who cannot afford such surgeries,” explains Gayathri.
Tiruchi district also bagged two state second ranks and nine third ranks.