Nagda in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain district has decided to honour its most industrious student, Sunanda Khairwar, in a unique way. Sunanda,17, will become mayor of this industrial town for one day for having scored 91.8 per cent marks in her class XII exams.
On 28 May, Sunanda will be handed over the charge by Mayor Shobha Yadav. “I had announced before the exams that the topper will get my chair for a day. It is meant to encourage students to do better, and recognise their efforts,” said Shobha. Though she won’t have any real signing authority, Sunanda will be able to dedicate a `40-lakh road project to the public. And the plaque will carry her name as mayor of the town.
The youngest of four siblings, Sunanda dreams to become an engineer and help her family which consists of her father a factory worker and mother who runs an anganwadi. Shobha’s attempt to derive maximum political mileage from the occasion - the state is poised for Assembly elections - has come in for criticism, even though Section 124 (g) of the Madhya Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act provides for such a decision to be taken by the incumbent mayor if it’s meant to encourage education.