Girls outpace boys

Time to redeem distorted growth

P. N. Pandey

Bettiah: There was a commotion in a hospital of West Champaran district when a new born was found abandoned. Soon a woman was located and she and her husband were persuaded to embrace the girl child. She was their fourth daughter. The lady had no son; only four daughters.

Patna: History was created in Bihar when girls notched up five of six top positions in the Bihar school examination results, announced recently. And, Biharsharif’s Anupam Neha secured the highest marks in the state and created a new record.

These two random quotations exemplify the pains and ecstasies through which the twin states of Bihar and Jharkhand are trying to catch up with the rest of the world in this computer-internet age. The old beliefs that girls are family liabilities still cling on, while the new dawn finds the fair sex assets for the folks.

The girls are taking big leap forward in all walks of life. The recently announced Bihar and Jharkhand secondary school examination results have once again shown that girls have outshone boys in the field of education. Another discerning point that has emerged is that both girls and boys in rural areas are doing better than their counterparts in towns. The examination results have shown that village students have fared better than town boys and girls. One reason for this lopsided showing may be that town people prefer to educate their children in private schools pursuing all India CBSC courses.

Anumpam Neha

Anupam Neha

The Bihar scenario is more heart warming. Here the girls are on cloud nine. In a state where female literacy is below 34 per cent against the national average of 54.16 per cent, the girls are leaving far behind the boys in learning three Rs. More and more girls in uniform pedal their way to the schools than boys trudging their legs. In the secondary school examination conducted by the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB), girls have made a tremendous quantum jump. Khushboo Kumari (92. 6 pc), who was second topper at this examination, pedaled every day to her school at Sonaili from her home at Bhogaon, a 10 km to and fro. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar visited her house and spent some time to boost her enthusiasm. While the last year’s topper had scored 85 per cent aggregate, Anupam Neha of Biharsharif shattered that record by obtaining 92.8 pc. The other three girl toppers are Nandita Kumari (91 per cent), Khushboo Kumari (Biharsharif): 90.6 and Divya Vedi. Rahul Kumar, with 91.2 per cent came second and was the only boy in the top-notch. Incidentally not a single student from Patna district is in the first five positions.
Khusboo Kumari

Khusboo Kumari

Of the 9.74 lakh students who sat for the SS examination, four lakh were girls. A total of 75,136 girls got first division, which is double the last year’s number of 37,708. Each girl scoring first division is entitled to an incentive of Rs 10,000, said an official of the HRD (Education) department. The off-beat official referred to the ‘cycle-to-girl scheme’ and said, “this is, in fact, an affirmation of the fact that a small initiative can really go a long way in bringing about a big change”.

Yes, Bihar and Jharkhand are changing. It is a matter of opinion if the change is positive or negative. Munshi Premchand’s villages have been lost somewhere in the changing rural scene. The novelist’s Hira and Moti have made way to tractors for tilling the land. Now, Central funds flow faster than the Monsoon rains. The advent of Indira Awas Yojna (IAY), a home for homeless social serfs, and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (Manarega) schemes has changed the village face. These funds flow directly to the mukhias in gram panchayats. Majority villages have road links to block or district headquarters. Electricity can be found in most of the villages. It is beside the point that dependable power supply still remains a pipe dream. As a corollary to direct fund flow corruption has, however, seeped to the grassroots level. A new class of neo-rich has emerged fast. The Manarega has become a big farce while for every IAY house the beneficiary has to fork out Rs. 3000 to Rs. 4000.

Moral values and ethics have been pushed out of the rural areas. Big houses and four-wheelers have become a status symbol for mukhias and village contractors. Honesty and camaraderie have become such a big dredge that they can not be kept in bank lockers, which are over-flowing with ill-gotten money and other assets. The third generation children may have to bear the heat of this emerging culture of amassing tainted wealth. It is the time for the government and the society to rise and stem the rot. If wealth is lost, nothing is lost. But, if moral value is lost, every thing is lost. This old axiom has to be resurrected if the rural Bihar-Jharkhand is to be redeemed.

Triumphant home coming of twins

It was a triumphant home coming for the Siamese twins (conjoined and separated), of course, with a new lease of life. Many awe-struck men, women and children of village Bhawanpur Kushwaha in East Champaran district touched the two separated girls to believe the miracle.

Many offered sweets to the girls, Sita and Gita. Some garlanded them while others kept looking at them in disbelief. People were happy to see them separated, unlike when they had left for New Delhi about one-and-a-half months back. The innocent girls sported bewitching smiles.

The happy father, Subhash Mukhia was on the cloud nine. He said, “Sita and Gita have become a big attraction. A large number of people have been visiting us since reached the village. The mother, Nirmala Devi said that it was miracle for the villagers. “They touched my daughters to believe a scientific success”.

It may be noted here that Sita and Gita’s surgery was conducted for 14 hours on April 5 at Batra Hospital in New Delhi. A team of 27 doctors separated the 18-month-old Siamese twins, born with congenital abnormalities of being joined at the waist, hip and legs and having a common genito-urinary and intestinal system. A Patna-based doctor Ajay Kumar was the one responsible for Sita and Gita’s separation.

Subhash said they were greeted by a few railway and police officials soon after they reached Motihari railway station. (BJMC)

Sita and Gita

Separated Sita and Gita with her parents and the team of doctors in a Delhi hospital. File photo


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