Kolkata, June 2 - They faced poverty and physical disability but that could not deter these bravehearts from scoring well in this year's Madhyamik examinations of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education.
Howrah's Shubh Singh, a student of DMB Boys High School at Bagnan, lost his father when he was a mere toddler. As a result, he had to withstand extreme poverty, which even threatened his education.
But his grit, determination and hard work saw him score 85.3 percent marks and top his school in the secondary or Class 10 examination of the board.
"Arranging two square meals a day is a struggle for us but this has not prevented my boy from striving for a bright future. I'm so happy with his success," Shubh's mother Madhvi Singh said.
Daily wager Khalil Mandal, unable to feed his family of five daughters and a son, wanted to marry off his daughter Moumita when she was in Class 9. But the girl wanted to study and said a firm no to marriage.
She has scored 545 (77.8 percent) marks out of 700 this year, much to the delight of her father, who is now willing to let her study.
"I had fixed her marriage as it was difficult for me to feed such a large family. But now I want my daughter to study," Mandal said.
Moumita, in fact, wrote a letter to the principal of her school in Nadia district requesting for his intervention after her father fixed her marriage.
"Many girls get married at a tender age. But I saw only Moumita stand up against the decision. She wrote me a letter on her decision. I'm happy at her stand," said Debashish Mukherjee, the principal of Aishmali United Academy.
"After I said no, my parents did not force me but were unhappy with my decision. I had to score good marks to back my decision not to marry," said Moumita.
Bankura's Aveek Mukherjee is hearing impaired since childhood and has been using hearing aids. But these were only rudimentary, providing him with minimal sound. Yet, the disability could not affect his studies.
Aveek, who has taken training in lip reading, has scored 605 (80.7 percent) marks.
Saurya Roy of Asansol's Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith has secured 675 out of 700, to stand second in the state. Sourya suffers from congenital myopia, but has fought all odds to achieve this score.
Though he has won the battle this time, due to his poor vision he has been advised by doctors not to take up science stream for higher education.
"Studying science brings a lot of stress since it involves working with chemicals in laboratories," said Saurya's father.
However, the 16-year-old boy is determined to pursue science and aspires to be a doctor.
A student of Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya, Narendrapur, Avirup Datta lost his father to cancer and all the savings were spent on his treatment. But the family tragedy could not douse his determination.
After Avirup scored 560 marks, his mother is elated at his success but also worried about his future.
"I want him to study at a nearby school so that not much is spent on commuting," she said.