Boy makes Patnaik say ‘let there be light’

June 6th, 2009 - 6:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, June 6 (IANS) A small village in Orissa, like many in the country has been without electricity. A boy with a desire to study didn’t let that come in his way and excelled in his exams with the result that chief minister Naveen Patnaik proclaimed ‘let there be light’ in the boy’s village.
Residents of a seaside village in Orissa are going to get electricity in a month - courtesy a poor cattle grazer who demonstrated academic brilliance even though he had to study by lantern light.

Patnaik was so moved by the academic performance of Ramakanta Sethi - a poor Daltt boy - that he ordered the state Energy Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak to take steps to provide electricity to his village.

Ramakanta Sethi - son of a poor farmer - discontinued studies for at least a month after clearing his Class 10 board examination from the local school in his village Talchua and took up cattle grazing to support his parents.

Talchua is situated near the Bhitarkanika National Park in the coastal district of Kendrapada, some 180 km from here.

His uncle Ajaya who is a fish trader, however, spotted his talent and admitted him in a school where he excelled in his Class 12 examination residing in a private hostel. Sethi scored nearly 80 percent marks and made it to the top-20 list in the state in the arts stream.

The boy from Fakir Mohan Junior College in Balasore, some 200 km from here, secured 473 out of 600 marks securing the 16th rank.

He was facilitated by Patnaik early this week in state capital Bhubaneswar for his academic excellence. Patnaik asked him if his village had electricity.

Ramakanta Sethi said his village does not have electricity and he studied by the lantern light. The boy also requested the chief minister to provide electricity to his village.

“We are going to electrify his village by June end,” state energy minister Nayak who is representing the region in the state assembly told IANS.

“The success story of the boy has made the government take up electrification work in his village on a priority basis,” Nayak said.

Ramakanta Sethi’s father Arabinda Sethi said he never thought his son will do so well in exams.

Ramakanta Sethi said he aims to join civil services.

“After graduation I will prepare for civil services so that I can serve the poor people,” he said.

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