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Deepa Rai : A girl who sold momos to look after family scores in CBSE XII with 81%

Santalabari (Alipurduar) : A girl who sold momos to support her family and had got 66 per cent in her Class X exams proved her mettle again – this time scoring 81 per cent in her CBSE Class XII, the results of which were published yesterday. Deepa Rai, from Santalabari forest village in Buxa Tiger Reserve, studied in a private English-medium school in Alipurduar. The humanities student topped her school this time. Two years ago, The Telegraph had reported Deepa’s story and soon after, she was offered free accommodation in her school hostel for her Plus II and her tuition fee was waived. “I am happy with the result. It was possible only because of The Telegraph as the news of my struggle was published and that prompted many people to come forward to help me. Even the school authorities allowed me to stay in the hostel for free. The teachers helped me a lot with my studies,” Deepa told Metro.

“I was determined to live up to the expectations of those who had helped me. And I managed to secure 81 per cent. In April last year, Arabadin Murli from Sydney in Australia, met me and gave Rs 20,000 to continue my studies. She had learnt about me from The Telegraph,” she added. Earlier, Deepa used to travel between Santalabari and Alipurduar, around 32km away, everyday. “I want to study English Honours and I want to be an administrative officer or a teacher. My teachers told me to take admission in a college in Calcutta but it is not possible. My family is dependent on the earnings from a shop and our monthly income is around Rs 5,000. I will apply in local colleges. I hope some benevolent people will help me,” Deepa said while helping her sister at their shop in Santalabari. Deepa used to sell momos near the shop.


“I could not study as I had to run the family. But I want my sister to complete her graduation and get a job. We live amid financial crisis but we would not let her discontinue her studies,” said Hema, Deepa’s elder sister. The sisters live with their elder brother and father. Their mother died about 10 years ago. Sandeep Karkun, the principal of Little Flower English Medium School in Alipurduar, where Deepa studied said: “Deepa is a sincere girl and we had expected that she would top the school. She had no private tuition. We helped her stay in the hostel free of cost. If she intends to do her graduation from Alipurduar College, we will let her stay in the school hostel for free for the next three years. I am ready to extend other possible help so that she can continue her education.”

- The Telegraph

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