Aizawl: Lalrinnungi, who topped Mizoram’s High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) examination this year, was spotted selling vegetables with her parents in one of Aizawl’s busiest ‘sabzi‘ bazaars on Saturday.
The daughter of vegetable sellers, who becomes a vendor herself on weekends and during holidays, didn’t let success go to her head as she sat on a stool beside her mother, much to the astonishment of passersby.
Sixteen-year-old Lalrinnungi, who hails from Sihphir’s Neihbawi village, 15 km north of Aizawl, was busy attending to her customers at ‘Thakthing’ bazaar near the main office of Presbyterian Synod, the largest denomination in the state.
Along with her parents, Lalrinnungi reached the market place early on Saturday morning to sell home-grown vegetables, as normally most households shop and buy their basic requirements (vegetables and meat) on Saturday morning to stock up for Sunday.
“It is my usual routine which I have been doing since my childhood days, especially on weekends and vacations,” the chirpy girl said with a smile.
Once confined to a small village, Lalrinnungi became a celebrity overnight after she successfully cleared and topped the Class X board exams, the results of which were announced on May 2.
She earned this not through beauty or money but through sheer determination and hardwork. Everyone, who met her sitting with a pile of green vegetables on Saturday, congratulated her, shook her hands and gave her money in appreciation.
Some people even took pictures with her in the market place. “People congratulated me, gave me money and even took pictures with me,” she told EastMojo.
In the Class X results declared by the Mizoram Board of School Education (MBSE) on Thursday, Lalrinnungi scored 97.2% to be on top of over 17,000 students who appeared in the examination held during February and March this year. She secured ‘letter’ marks (minimum 80 out of 100 marks) in all the five subjects — Mathematics, Science, Social Science, English and Mizo.
Her favourite subject is Science, in which she scored 100 out 100 marks.
Born to a poor pig farmer and vendor on March 23, 2003, Lalrinnungi remained steadfast, obedient and sincere throughout her school days. “She was very obedient, jolly and a bookworm, who always wanted to study and go to school,” her mother Lalhlimpuii said, recollecting her childhood days.
Lalrinnungi began her schooling at Young Learner’s School at Sihphir, later renamed as Presbyterian English School. After completing Class VIII, she joined St Joseph Higher Secondary School in Aizawl as a boarder.
Apart from rearing pigs, her parents, Zothantluanga and Lalhlimpuii, sell vegetables to support their four children.
Lalhlimpuii recollected that there were sometimes when they could not pay their children’s tuition fees and the school authorities had to remit them.
Lalrinnnungi is the youngest and one of the two students in their families. Her two elder brothers, Zodinmawia and Lallianzuala, gave up schooling after completing Class XII and IX, respectively. Her sister, Lalremruati, is currently in Class XII.
Lalrinnungi was accorded a warm welcome when she reached her village on Thursday. She was felicitated by the village council and the Young Mizo Association (YMA).
The girl school’s principal, C Laltlangsanga, has announced free admission and tuition fee remission to her till Class XII. She will also be felicitated by the state’s apex student body, Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), on Wednesday along with nine other indigenous students, who figured in the top ten list.