Amit Madar, a Dalit student of Government High School at Jumanal village in Vijayapura district of Karnataka, emerged as one of the toppers in the SSLC examination 2022. He scored 625 marks out of 625.
For Amit, the result brought happiness, but was not unexpected. “When I was in class 8, I had decided to score 625 marks. I studied accordingly and achieved this. It is an unforgettable day for all of us. The whole village is happy because of me. All villagers are proud of me,” he said.
Amit hails from a poor agricultural family in Jumanal village, which is situated about 10 km south of Vijayapura city off the Hubballi-Vijayapura road.
Amit had lost his father when he was a small child. His mother, an agricultural labourer, toils on the farmlands of others for daily wages. She works hard to ensure that all her three children get a good education. Though the family has a piece of farmland, it was given to Amit’s uncle on lease as there was none in the family to manage it.
Amit is the youngest of the three siblings. His sister is the final year of a degree course and his brother is in the second year of a degree course.
Amit is the youngest of the three siblings. His sister is in the final year of a degree course. His brother is in the second year of a degree course and also works in a book shop.
“Amit was a bookworm. He wanted to score well in academics and get a good job to lift the family out of poverty. He was always seen studying. He sacrificed all other childhood joys, like playing. He was so busy studying that he often forgot to eat,” his sister Abhilasha Madar told The Hindu.
When teachers of the Government High School in Jumanal conducted online classes during the COVID-19 lockdowns, Amit did not have a smartphone. He borrowed phones from his friends and relatives to attend the classes.
“I studied six to eight hours a day. I did not let my mind get distracted. My target was 100% marks, and I am happy that I achieved it. My teachers helped me develop a strategy for the examination, apart from sharing knowledge,” Amit said.
He wants to study medicine and heal the poor. “My teachers keep telling me I have to be an IAS officer. I will try to do that. It had never crossed my mind that I was in a government school. Some people think that only the poor opt for government schools as they have no choice. Some people allege that the quality of teaching in government schools is low. Both beliefs are baseless,” he told The Hindu.
C.A. Rudragoudar, retired head master, who had taught Amit for a couple of years, says, “Jumanal Government High School is well-equipped with qualified teachers and other infrastructure, including computer section and science laboratory. The teachers in the school are such experts that they were often invited by other schools across Karnataka as resource persons to get their teachers trained. There are top private high schools in Vijayapura. But, students and parents prefer this government high school over them.”
He added that, apart from Amit, around 35 students among the total 59 students in the school had performed remarkably in the SSLC exams.