Lalrinnungi (16), whose thirst for education motivated her to do even petty labour to overcome her financial hurdles, ensured that nothing came in the way between her and her studies Credit: Facebook

Aizawl: If you feel that poverty is a curse that daunts and prevents a person from reaching his or her goal, then think again. A 16-year-old girl from Mizoram, whose thirst for education motivated her to do even petty labour to overcome her financial hurdles, ensured that nothing came in the way between her and her studies.

Lalrinnungi, the daughter of a vegetable-seller, topped Mizoram’s High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) examination 2019, the results of which were declared by the Mizoram Board of School Education (MBSE) on Thursday.

Tears welled up in the poor yet innocent girl’s eyes when she learnt of her results on D Day. The “obedient and brilliant student”, as her teachers called her, cried in joy when she first learnt that she topped the Class X board exams.

Lalrinnungi selling vegetables with her parents

She said she was confident of good results but did not expect to top the chart. “I was taken aback when I first learnt about my result. I cried in joy. It is a dream come true,” Lalrinnungi, a student of St Joseph Higher Secondary School in Aizawl, told EastMojo.

Lalrinnungi scored 486 out of 500. She secured “letter” marks in Mathematics, Science, Social Science, English and Mizo. She scored 100 out of 100 in her favourite subject — Science.

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She attributed her success to determination, hard work and perseverance, and thanked his parents and teachers for their relentless support. “To me, there is no shortcut to success. Hard work, determination, dedication and above all obeying God and teachers are the keys to my success,” she said.

“We should work hard to deserve a blessing from God. He will surely help us if we work with determination and dedication,” she urged fellow students.

The hard-working girl said her aim in life was to become a civil servant, but she wants to shift to medical education after obtaining good result as she wants to help people, who can’t afford expensive treatment.

She said she used to study six to seven hours a day while preparing for her board exam apart from attending daily classes.

Born in an economically underprivileged family at Sihphir’s Neihbawi, about 15 km from the state capital, Lalrinnungi started her schooling at Young Learner’s School at Sihphir, which was later taken over by the Presbyterian Church and renamed Presbyterian English School.

After completing Class VIII, she joined St Joseph Higher Secondary School as a boarder. She is the youngest of four siblings and remained the first girl in her primary and middle school days.

Her parents, Zothantluanga and Lalhlimpuii, are daily-wage earners and sell vegetables to support their children.

Lalrinnungi said she used to help her parents sell vegetables during weekends all through primary and middle school and during holidays while she was in high school.

She said she never shied away from selling vegetables in market places, as she wanted to help her parents support her education.

Students checking their results on the notice board in Aizawl, Mizoram on Thursday

Lalrinnungi was accorded a warm welcome at her village in Sihphir, where she was felicitated by the locals under the aegis of village councils and NGOs for being a topper in HSLC examination.

The MBSE conducted the examination for Class X from February 28 to March 20 this year. Of the 17,989 candidates on roll, as many as 17,346 appeared for the board examination and 11,783 students, including 6,005 girls, successfully cleared the exam, registering an overall pass percentage of 67.93%, which is 8.7% less than the previous year’s 76.77%.

At least 20 students figured in top 10 list against 16 in 2018.

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Angeline Lalpekhlui and F Remsangpuia, both students of St Paul Higher Secondary School, Aizawl, bagged the second and third positions, with 483 and 476 marks, respectively.

Citing about the decrease in pass percentage, MBSE chairman F Lianhmingthanga said lack of principal could be the reason. There are at least 40 exam centres, where there were no principals.

He claimed that there was improvement in the “quality” though the board failed to achieve quantity improvement.

Examinations were held in more than 113 centres across the state and of the 17,346 candidates, 5,094 students including 2771 girls were declared failed and 469 candidates got compartmental chance.

Lalrinnungi with her mother at the vegetable market in Sihphir’s Neihbawi, about 15 km from state capital Aizawl

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