At just a tender age of 12, she had to come face to face with the harsh reality of life when a heart-wrenching scene unfolded before her eyes as her father, Dana Majhi, walked 10 kilometres shouldering the body of her mother in 2016. However, five year fast forward, Majhi's elder girl Chandini has left behind the grimmer past and scripted success story by clearing the annual matriculation examination, the results of which were announced on Friday.
Chandini, a student of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), is among the 2, 81,658 girls who have cleared the Class 10 board examinations this year. She has secured 280 marks.
With this, Chandini has become the first girl from Melghar, a non-descript village under Thuamul-Rampur block of Kalahandi district, to clear the Class 10 board examination.
Majhi's incident which caught the national and international attention and brought the limelight on the shoddy condition of healthcare and essential services system in the far-off locations in Odisha like his village is now over the moon for his daughter’s success.
“I am very delighted that my daughter has passed the matriculation examination,” said an elated Majhi.
“The school here does not have teacher and children are not interested in going to school. Therefore, no one had ever cleared the Class 10 examination from our village. Now I am extremely happy that my daughter has successfully cleared the examination,” he added.
An emotional Chandini who struggled to speak when asked to say a few words about her success said she never thought of clearing the examination by living in such a remote village surrounded by hills.
“There were days when I was crying and cursing my fate. Now I feel very happy that I have passed the annual high school certificate examination,” said Chandini.
In August 2016, a sobbing Chandini was seen accompanying her father all the way as he walked 10 kilometre carrying the body of his wife Amang, 42, who died from tuberculosis in the district hospital in Bhawanipatna town.
He was forced to do so after allegedly being denied a hearse by the government hospital. The incident created a tumult in the political arena and also shocked the conscience of many.
Eventually, Dana Majhi, who earns a living from farming, married for third time. He has now five daughters, three from previous marriages.
However, nothing has changed in the village since the incident. Though electric poles are erected, the village is yet to be electrified.
“The government is making tall claims of electrifying all villages. The poles were erected and bill metres have been installed. A transformer which was installed in the village was damaged due to flood. Thereafter, we made repeated requests to the government, but no step has taken in this regard,” said a Melghar resident.