Vending Snacks From Push Cart, Boy Cracks NIT In 1st Attempt In Odisha’s Ganjam

Sunil Patnaik

Berhampur: Braving all odds, a boy, who earns livelihood from vending snacks in a remote village of Odisha’s Ganjam district, has cracked JEE Main 2024 and qualified for Civil Engineering at NIT.

Eighteen-year-old Bikash Sahu from K Ranipada under Sana Ustapada panchayat in Beguniapada block of the district was forced to sell fried snacks like ‘Pakoda’, ‘Bara’ and ‘Piaji’ from a push cart along with his younger brother after the untimely demise of his father.

His father was working as a labourer at Surat in Gujarat. With his death, the young boy had to take to vending the snacks to earn livelihood for the family. He was catering to the customers of his village and neighboring places.

Bikash, who also has the problem of low vision and belongs to the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) category, had a high ambition to achieve big in life. He did not hesitate to hard work but had no resources to pursue his dream of going for higher studies.

Forced by the circumstances, Bikash decided to drop out from Plus II. At this time, ‘Bipadara Bandhu’, a social organisation and Aryabhatta Learning Forum in Berhampur came to his help.

While Bipadara Bandhu helped Bikas continue his study in Plus II, provided him free coaching for competitive examinations. Finally, Bikash achieved his goal as he not only cracked JEE Main 2024 but also qualified for NIT that too in his first attempt.

“Bikash, who passed Class X from Kalimiki Jagipadar High School by securing 89% marks, passed Plus II Science from Khallikote Higher Secondary School by securing 75 per cent (455 out of 600 marks). He secured 80.02 percentile in JEE Mains, 114 out of 200 in OUAT and secured 5th

rank in Odisha in OJEE B Pharm this year. He was residing in RK Hostel and we provided him study materials and medicine expenses free of cost,” said Gaurahari Polai, a member of Bipadara Bandhu.

He further said Bikash could succeed due to timely help and guidance from Sudhir Rout, director of Aryabhatta. The institute provided free coaching to him.

Bipadara Bandhu also helped another poor student, Nira Mallick of Dumiguda village in Gajapati district. Nira passed Class X from Navodaya Vidyalaya Paralakhemundi by securing 90 per cent. He joined OAV Gundima in Plus Two Science and was about to drop out after first year due to poverty.

Nira was looking after his bedridden mother as his elder brother is working in Kerala for their livelihood. “We helped Nira continue his study and he secured 71% in Plus II. Nira agreed to come to Berhampur after his mother passed away and we also approached Aryabhatta for his free coaching to which they agreed,” said Polai.

Both Bikas and Nira were felicitated by the Aryabhatta in its Prerana 2024 annual function among other successful students on Saturday.

Sunil Patnaik

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