KOLKATA: She can’t walk, but her rickety legs have taken giant steps.When Payel Pal topped her school in the West Bengal Board’s Class X examination this year, the grit and determination of the 15-year-old sets a shining example of overcoming adversity. Payel, from Kurmail Sonaulla High School in North Dinajpur’s Balurghat district, scored 80 per cent in the examination.
The girl dreams of becoming an administrative officer so that she can serve for the poor. “I have just crossed the first hurdle of my goal. I have a long path ahead. Whatever I have achieved today is because of my mother,’’ said Payel, the teenager with growth like a child. She said she would like to join civil service to serve the poor.
“I want to study in a school in district headquarters. I want to crack civil service exam so that I can help the poor,” said Payel. Payel’s father Digen Pal runs a small tailoring shop in the local market. “From her childhood she cannot walk. Our family of four depends on my earning from my small shop. We had taken her to many doctors. They all said that she would not be able stand on her feet. However, my daughter was determined to study,” said Digen.
Not only her legs, Payel’s hands are weak too. “She can only write using her hand. I had to take Payel to school and tuition classes taking her on my lap and carrying her bag,” said mother Prabhati. Payel scored 95 each in life science and geography and 80 in mathematics. She wants to pursue her higher studies in geography.
Digen is elated with her daughter’s results, but is worried about her future studies as well. “I struggle to ensure proper meals for my family. Payel wants to study in a better school in our district headquarters Raiganj. I don’t know how I am going to manage the expenses,” Digen said.
Digen said he would seek help from the local administration for Payel’s studies. “She is handicapped with 100 per cent disability. I will seek the district administration’s help so that Payel can pursue her higher studies,” he added.