BENGALURU: When most of the candidates who were taking SSLC exams were holding pen and paper preparing for the examinations, Mahesh B (17) was holding a trowel and working in a construction building. He took a break from work only five days before the exams and on Monday when results came he was one of the toppers. Out of 625, he scored 616 marks .
Mahesh, who hails from Yadgir, stays with his mother and two brothers at Malleshpalya. He studied at a government school (Karnataka public school in Jeevanbimanagar) which is some 5 km from his house. He would take a BMTC bus to school. Forget private tuitions , his school did not have regular teachers for Kannada and Hindi. “Our social studies teacher who was about to retire completed the Kannada portions for us. We somehow managed Hindi,” he said.
His father passed away when Mahesh was five years old. His mother Mallamma who has never gone to school works as a domestic help. His elder brother does odd jobs – from construction work to driving a tempo. Just before the lockdown, the brother went in the tempo to Yadgir. “That’s when lockdown was announced and my brother got stuck,” Mahesh said.
“Those were difficult days for us. Mother neither had a job nor money. Fortunately we got a ration kit from the BBMP,” he said. Mahesh’s younger brother is now in class eighth. What was his success mantra? “I would concentrate on the difficult lessons. I relied on just the textbooks and notes. I was expecting more than 90 per cent. But I did not expect such a high score.” He wants to become a teacher and has requested Education minister S Suresh Kumar to appoint teachers in all government schools. “What we faced, others should not face,” he said.