Bhadrak: A 57-year-old ASHA's (Accredited Social Health Activist's) joy knew no bound when she finally passed the annual matriculation examination in Odisha this year after repeated failures in her previous attempts.
Swarnalata Pati, a resident of Kanti Gaan under Kurigaan panchayat in Bhandaripokhari block of Bhadrak, was initially working as a cook at village school. She was later appointed as an ASHA in the village.
Besides discharging her government duties, she continued her study to become a matriculate. Her determination and dedication finally yielded fruits.
In September, she had appeared the test in Odisha Open School but didn't succeed. Later, she appeared the examination at Bagurai High School in the district but failed to clear the test only in English. So, she had filled up the form for the English paper only this year.
The Board of Secondary Education (BSE) could not conduct the annual examinations due to Covid pandemic this year and the government announced the results of the students as per the previous career records.
Swarnalata was reluctant to write the examination due to repeated failure and heavy work burden. But, her son inspired her to never give up, she said.
“I was bit by only four marks in English last year. I was confident of clearing the test. Besides, government has also directed the under Matric ASHAs to clear the exam.
It was not easy for the determined woman to pursue her dream as she was getting a little time for preparation due to government duties.
“I was frustrated in the middle of the academic session and had decided to skip the test due to heavy work pressure. My son came to my rescue and persuaded me to go ahead. His push acted as an inspiration for me,” an elated Swarnalata said.
“I had a mid-term exam in December which I had appeared and cleared. After the government cancelled the exams this year due to Covid pandemic, I passed the Class 10 as per government guidelines,” she added.
At a time the Covid pandemic brought immense suffering for everyone, it acted as a blessing for the elderly woman who cleared the Class 10 even without appearing the exam as per government guidelines, locals said.