This petite little girl is Priyanka Nilajkar. She has stood 53rd in Karnataka DCET for lateral entry into engineering college after completing her Diploma in Computer Science, after standing first to Bharatesh Polytechnic with 93% marks. She scored 98% in her 10th std. from D. Y. Chougule Bharatesh high school three years ago.
What makes her achievement so special is that she comes from a very humble background. Her father is a Mason and her mother is a farm help. She has three more siblings who are still studying. Even when she entered Bharatesh for 8th std. she was a positive, energetic, and determined girl who knew what she wanted to do in life.
I recall her sparkling eyes full of dreams for her life. It’s wonderful how Belagavi stood by this sincere girl. Because she showed so much enthusiasm and confidence, Rajiv Doddanavar, Vice Chairman of Bharatesh Education Trust, stood by her. She had promised him to get above 95% in 10th and he promised to waive her diploma fees and both fulfilled their promises. She got a full fee waiver throughout her schooling and polytechnic education because of this promise. One must appreciate how teachers play a key role in students’ success.
At Bharatesh Marathi medium school, her principal A. A. Sanadi and then S. N. Akki as also her teacher Priya Saynekar fuelled her dreams of becoming an engineer. Her school teacher M. B. Chougule paid for her CET coaching fees and to date, no one knew about it. Her polytechnic teacher Sheetal Dharwadkar stood by her like a rock.
I had administered the Dnyan Prabodhini aptitude test and guided her when in 10th. It was Vidya Poshak that was of immense help. Not only did they provide her scholarship for her education, they also gifted her a laptop this year for her higher education. Sunil Nilajkar of Vidya Poshak has been a great mentor for Priyanka.
Today, students like Priyanka are able to find wings because Belagavi stands by its kids. Priyanka still has to go far with her engineering course, which she wants to pursue in Bangalore. Her other siblings are still in school and she aims to support their education. She has a great sense of humor and a strong zest for life. “When I was in school I thought it would be really difficult even to complete my polytechnic, but now it seems to easy,” she says. Lesson learned by all the Priyanka’s out there- it all seems easy when you cover the difficult path. Seek help, work hard, have a goal and make it happen. A big thank you to all the people of Belagavi who helped her in her journey.