RAIPUR: They passed the Class 10 and 12 exams with flying colours. Their spirits already soaring after being among the best performers in the state, students in Chhattisgarh found themselves on cloud nine on Saturday. Quite literally.
As a reward for their performance and to laud their achievement, the state government organised free helicopter rides for the top scoring students. With each trip lasting 15 minutes, the 7-seater chopper took the students through a thrilling experience as they admired the views of Raipur from a height.
“It was no less than an amazing dream for me,” said Devanand Kumti, who stood as the topper among students belonging to primitive tribal groups in the state. Kumti had scored 90 per cent marks in the exam. “I belong to Gumiyabeda in Abujhmad (south Bastar). Our village does not get even adequate sunlight. But today the chief minister offered me an opportunity to fly in a chopper,” a delighted Kumti added.
Agreed Anjum, another top scorer in Class 10 exam. “We were so excited to be called for this experience. It was a wonderful and never-to-be-forgotten occasion,” she said.The students had figured in the merit list of Class 10 and 12 examination results declared by the Chhattisgarh Board of Secondary Education.
“We shortlisted 125 students from across Chhattisgarh. The families of 119 children gave their consent, while the remaining students were away from the state,” Alok Shukla, principal secretary, school education department, told this newspaper. “The take-off and landing of the chopper, which was hired from a private charter service, took place at the police parade ground in Raipur,” he added.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel had in April announced free chopper rides for the Class 10 and 12 students who secure excellent marks, with an aim to motivate pupils to work hard and perform their best.Shreya Pandey from Dhamtari district, who got the sixth rank in the Class 12 merit list, said that the initiative is an excellent incentive to inspire students to give their best.
The state aviation department will submit the bills for the expense, likely to be commercial rates, on the rides to the school education department. Chhattisgarh government is not left with any helicopter after its Augusta Westland AW-109 crashed while landing on the runway at Raipur airport on May 12.
Chopper ride for over 100 students
The students had figured in the merit list of Class 10 and 12 exam results declared by Chhattisgarh Board of Secondary Education. “We shortlisted 125 students. The families of 119 children gave their consent, while the others were away,” Alok Shukla, principal secretary, school education department, said.