In July, Greeshma was not issued the hall ticket for the SSLC exams as she could not pay the school fees.

Class 10 student Greeshma's mother feeding her after the former scored the highest in the SSLC supplementary examGreeshma (left) with her mother
news Education Tuesday, October 12, 2021 - 18:57

In July this year, Greeshma Nayak, a student Class 10 student in Karnataka’s Tumakuru district, had lost all hope when she was denied the opportunity to appear in the annual examination, because her parents could not afford her school fees. She even tried to take her own life. She later took the supplementary exam last month and scored the maximum marks. Among the 53,155 students who took the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) exam, she scored the highest marks. Greeshma, a student of Alva’s School in Moodbidri, scored 599 out of 625 marks in the examination.

Greeshma’s school did not issue her the hall ticket to write the SSLC exams as she could not pay her school fees. The daughter of a farmer, Greeshma had told the media that she could not pay the Rs 1 lakh fees. Her parents came to know about it when they tried to enrol her for the SSLC exam. Appeals to the Deputy Director for Public Instruction and the Education Minister were of no avail.

A discouraged Greeshma, who had scored 95% in Class 9, attempted to take her own life on July 17 at her residence. However, timely treatment saved her life. The incident made headlines at a time when the Karnataka government was all set to hold the SSLC examinations amid the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. On hearing about the incident, then Education Minister Suresh Kumar had rushed to Greeshma’s residence and spoken to her. He asked Greeshma to be brave and promised to give her an opportunity to write the SSLC exam when supplementary examinations were held.

Greeshma, who hails from Koratagere town, stated that she is very happy with the results and thanked everyone who helped her to take the exam. “I committed a mistake earlier. I had prepared well for the exams,” she added.

After the results were announced, an elated Suresh Kumar congratulated her. “Greeshma has become a model for others. She did not get distracted from the commitment. She has achieved what she aspired for,” he said.

“I went to Greeshma's residence. I gave her courage and promised that it is my responsibility to give her the opportunity to take the supplementary exam. I also asked her to prepare for it without any worries. Even after I was dropped from the cabinet, I kept in touch with the Commissioner, SSLC Board Directors, Deputy Director of Madhugiri Academic district and heads of Alva’s to ensure that Greeshma wrote her exams. After getting to know about the results and her achievement, I’m relaxed now.”

If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organisations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.

Tamil Nadu
State health department's suicide helpline: 104
Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)

Andhra Pradesh
Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930
Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584

Karnataka
Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222

Kerala
Maithri: 0484 2540530
Chaithram: 0484 2361161
Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.

Telangana
State government's suicide prevention (tollfree): 104
Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200
SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 am and 7 pm)

Aasara offers support to individuals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one.

24x7 Helpline: 9820466726

Click here for working helplines across India

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