Bhopal: Karnika’s collector dream needs govt’s financial push
BHOPAL: A couple of years from now, Karnika Mishra, 16, would love to see herself as collector of a district of Madhya Pradesh, provided the government extends financial help to her.
A resident of Kailashnagar, Semra Kalan in the city, Karnika is among 15 state-toppers of the High School Examination, conducted by MPBSE, and the only one from the city. She has scored a perfect 300 out of 300 marks in the examination.
“I am very happy because my family is happy,” she told Free Press. ‘Family’ means her mother and her naani. Her father, who worked as a driver, had passed away when she was in class six and her Nanaji, two years back.
The sole bread-winner of her family is her mother, Swati Mishra, who works as a computer operator in a diamond company, about 18 km from their home. She leaves for work at 6.30am and is back by 6 pm. And for all that labour, she gets Rs 7,000 per month as salary.
Clearly, family’s financial position is not good. “But my mother never allowed me to suffer. She never kept me hungry, though, may be, once in a while she slept on empty stomach,” Karnika said.
Karnika followed a gruelling schedule. After returning from school at noon, she studied with her classmates from 1.30 pm to 4 pm. Then she attended a coaching class up to 6 pm. From 6.30 to 8 pm she was again at the coaching class.
Her school, Reema Vidya Mandir, Semra Kalan, supported her in every possible way. Fee was not charged from her since her father’s death. “The coaching sir was also very accommodating and never insisted on payment,” she said.
What was the secret of her success? “Teaching others,” she says. Karnika regularly taught weaker students of her class during group study. That helped her revise the difficult topics dozens of times. “Gyan to baatne se badhta hai (Knowledge grows by sharing”, she says.
Karnika doesn’t have a phone of her own. “Mummy had left her phone with me today as the result was to be announced at 12 noon,” she says. Her mother phoned her at 12.15pm to inquire about her result. “I couldn’t believe my ears. I never expected she would do so well,” her mother said. Her mother’s bosses allowed her to leave for home early to celebrate the success of her only child.
Like most teenagers, Karnika loved TikTok and used to make videos. She, however, didn’t have many followers, she said. She uninstalled the app from her mother’s phone before the exams.
Karnika credits ‘God, Mummy and Nani” for her success; in that order.