First among equals

Very few girls who have just turned 13 can tell you what they want to do in their life. If they live in a rural area, the probability is even less. But defying all the odds, one such girl is Sangeetha. If you ask her, she will say, “I want to study in the IIT”.

For a girl in rural India, life does not give you many choices, to show your talent to the world. Sangeetha, a class VIII student of K J Somaiya English Medium School, a school of Somaiya Vidyavihar in Rural Karnataka, not only participated in the National Mathematics Olympiad, she came First, competing with a whopping 65,000 competitors from across India.

The winning did not come easy. She first attempted the exam when she was in seventh grade and then again in Grade Eighth. Sharing her happiness with everyone, she says, “It was a great opportunity for me, and I got to learn a lot from it.”

This achievement is the result of consistent hard work for months everyday secured her big change in life. She had attempted the same exam in the previous year, but unsatisfied with the result, she gave it a shot once again.

Mr Sachin Hossati, her Maths teacher who guided her, says “She came to me with questions every day. For 1 to 1 ½ hour daily she studied various mental ability questions as well practised solving previous year’s papers”. Sangeetha’s positive confidence does not mean the journey was a fairytale. In the beginning, she had a hard time coping up with the level of complexity. But staying true to herself, she fought the fears with the help of her family, who always believed in her. Her father, Anilkumar, says, “She is a self-independent and a hardworking kid, who never required any motivation from us”.

Sangeetha is now more assured of her positive future than she ever could have been. “I thank the School Authorities, the Principal and my Math teacher for their tremendous support. I was overwhelmed when I knew I won. The unexpected recognition for my effort gives me a sense of confidence. This prize has encouraged me to work even harder and to strengthen my desire.”

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