Devbrat Patnaik

Keonjhar: Born to a family in Keonjhar that sustains by selling snacks and tea, Bhawani Sankar Behera, for the time being, has not let his dreams die. His father being the owner of the tiffin stall did not stop Bhawani from making headlines as he topped the Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE) 2019 in B.Sc Lateral Entry. That too in his maiden attempt!

A resident of Pipilia village under Ghatgaon block of Keonjhar district, Bhawani helps his father Gurucharan Behera during the day and spends the rest of his time in studies.

No sooner than the results were announced today, the whole family broke down with tears of joy. Bhawani himself was left with no words after finding his name as the topper. "It's hard to express how I am feeling right now. I am very happy today. I knew I would secure a good rank, but never thought of being a topper. The achievement is because of my parents' blessings," said a teary-eyed Bhawani.

"It was my childhood dream to be an engineer but I could not overcome the fear of dealing with the financial constraints. I urge the government to extend some financial assistance so that I can think of getting my admission in a good college," he appealed while speaking to OTV correspondent.

His father and mother couldn't control their emotions seeing Bhawani explain in detail all the basic facilities he was deprived of in his school and college career. "I am proud that he is Odisha topper. If government helps my son in his further studies, I would be obliged. It's my sincere appeal before the government to extend some help," said Bhawani's father.

For now, it remains to be seen whether Bhawani's struggle would continue or will he get financial aid for a career he has dreamt of.

The OJEE Committee constituted under the aegis of Skill Development and Technicla Education Department conducted OJEE-2019 for admission into technical and professional courses imparted by government and private technical and professional institutions in the State. A total of 25,672 candidates had appeared in the OJEE 2019 in the offline mode whereas 13,918 students had appeared for the exam online. While 228 students had appeared in the Lateral Entry (LE-Tech) B.Sc, Bhawani emerged as the topper.