Mother’s love may be termed as ‘supreme’, but father’s love is equally undisputed. One such story from Madhya Pradesh will touch your hearts and also demonstrate how fathers, who are not often so expressive by nature, equally toil to give their children the best!
On Tuesday last week, a man’s determination led to saving his son’s “big dreams”, when he cycled him all the way to an exam center, that was more than 100 kms away from their home town in Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar district.
45-year-old Shobharam is a daily-wager, who cycled from his small village in Manawar tehsil of Dhar district, to the town where his eldest son, Asheesh had to reach for his math and social science papers.
Asheesh had failed in three subjects in his class 10 board exams and hence he ended up registering under the MP government’s ‘Ruk Jana Nahin’ scheme to appear for a second time. His father was delighted by his son’s decision and stated that his child was determined to pass and thus wanted to give it his best shot once again. Shobharam said,
He wants to complete his education and achieve something big in his life.
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However, the obstacle that the duo faced was that his invigilation center was in Dhar town, which was 106 kms away. As buses and all public transportation are currently non functional during COVID and the family could not afford to hire a vehicle, the only option they were left with was to cycle all the way to the town.
The father-son duo were prepared to spend the nights and days on the road, and thus they had packed a potli of rotis with them that would last for three days.
The father expressed how he wanted to fulfill his son’s dreams by quoting,
I am a daily labourer, but my son will have a better life. If he is getting a second chance, I will do anything to ensure that nothing stops him.
On Monday afternoon, they both started their journey with the blessings of their family, while borrowing a sum of Rs 500 borrowed from a friend, to secure themselves from unexpected emergency. The father said,
I took a stop at Mandu (60 km away) as it was 9 pm by the time we arrived there. It was not safe to cycle any further in the dark.
When it was time for them to spend the night somewhere, the father searched for a temple to halt where they could take shelter through the night. However, he was welcomed by the local people in the vicinity. Shobharam quoted:
The kind-hearted people of Mandu provided us shelter and food. We took rest for a few hours, and again set off at 4 am to reached out destination, which was the exam center.
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The father-son duo managed to reach Bhoj Kanya Shala, just 15 minutes before the bell was about to ring, at 7.45 am on Tuesday. When Asheesh was attempting his exam, his father once again was scouting for places where they could spend the night.
Shobharam came across a government building which had shut down, where they had their supper and took rest in the corridor later that evening.
A New Dawn
Next morning came up as a surprise for the duo, as the news of father and son’s 106 kms journey had spread in town, and the local media along with some officials, were searching for them. The block education officer SK Vashney, in an interview with TOI, briefed media how they found the courageous and determined duo. He said,
There are 14 examination centers here. We knew the name of the student and his father, so we made announcements at all centers and finally found them at Bhoj Kanya Shala.
Asheesh was amazed when his name was called out, as he saw a few officials waiting for him along with his father, when he came out after finishing his paper. Dhar assistant commissioner of tribal welfare department,
Brijesh Pandey promised a comfortable journey for them back home. He said,
We have arranged for food and shelter at a government-run hostel. They will be given transport to return to their village after he completes his exam.
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Asheesh and Shobharam had planned to cycle back to their hometown on Wednesday and return for his next paper on August 24, however, now they will be staying in the hostel. Overwhelmed with joy, the father said,
The thought of my son’s future kept me going. I was tired, hungry and it was scary to cycle on the highway in monsoon, with trucks speeding past just inches from us. But I am happy that I could get him here in time. I also thank all the kindness shown to us by strangers.
‘Ruk Jana Nahin’ Scheme
Under the Madhya Pradesh government’s ‘Ruk Jana Nahin’ scheme, students who fail to clear Class 10 and 12 board exams are given another chance. These supplementary exams began on August 17 for the students of Class 10.
अपने बेटे को परीक्षा दिलवाने ये पिता साइकिल से 3 दिनों का सफर तय करके धार पहुंचे, शुभकामनाएं अब बारी बेटे की है! @ChouhanShivraj @OfficeOfKNath @UmangSinghar @ndtvindia @ndtv #ExamResults pic.twitter.com/QHg6rEqJGr
— Anurag Dwary (@Anurag_Dwary) August 19, 2020
Here’s how social media users hailed the father for not letting his son fail…almost literally! Anand Mahindra, Chairman – Mahindra Group came forward to sponsor Asheesh’s further education. He quoted:
A heroic parent. One who dreams big for his children. These are the aspirations that fuel a nation’s progress. At @MahindraRise we call it a Rise story. Our Foundation would be privileged to support Aseesh’s further Education. Could the journalist please connect us? pic.twitter.com/KsVVy6ptMU
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) August 20, 2020
Shobharam spoke to ThePrint on a mobile phone he borrowed from someone. He said that he doesn’t know who Mahindra is, but was aware of “Mahindra scooters”. The man added,
He must be a big man. I was told by someone from the Mahindra Group that they have offered to help and support my child’s education. I am happy to know that. I only want my son to get a good education.
Nobody knew us before. We are poor people. We never thought somebody would try to speak with us, know our names, or take interest in our struggles.
This story !! pic.twitter.com/3mLlYvfhZI
— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) August 19, 2020
Father concern for his son education is natural but there may be many other students whose family even may not be having even good bycycle. Govt should have ensured examination centres near homes.
— Pipalkoti (@Pipalkoti) August 19, 2020
My father who is a war veteran from Indian Air Force(fighters) in his early flying days,cycled 65 kms with his brother sitting behind so that his younger sibling could give his NDA exams.Sibling not only passed the NDA exams but also recieved vishist Seva medal SenaGalantryaward
— Sonali Patnaik (@SonaliPatnaik01) August 19, 2020
May God give his son success!!
We will never ever get rid of the debt of parents!
If we think we are sending money to them and thinks they are fine… then we are wrong. parents needs love and affection and respect most important!
I salute his father. Love and respect!
— Monica Sharma (@mons_sh) August 19, 2020
His struggle should be appreciated but why one should have to struggle at this extreme level today in our country….? Need to think about “Each one of Us”
— Suresh Parmar (@SureshP38742109) August 20, 2020
That’s why father’s love and sacrifice is extrem …..love you dad😘😘
— Nirankari Ankush (@NirankariAnku) August 20, 2020