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27 May 2018

Civic volunteer wins medal in Master's.... Philosophy gold for baton boy

Abhijeet Chatterjee, TT, May 27, 2018, Asansol: Sudip Pal was on duty in uniform at a panchayat poll booth barely a fortnight ago. On Saturday, he was in robes receiving a gold medal at Kazi Nazrul University.

The 26-year-old civic volunteer was among 19 winners of gold medals for post-graduation at the university here in which Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was conferred an honorary DLitt.

Sudip attained first class first with 76 per cent, a leap from 50 per cent in graduation, 62 per cent in Higher Secondary and 56 per cent in Madhyamik.

"I could not get the desired results in my previous exams despite trying very hard as I was shouldering the responsibilities of running my family along with my elder brother after my father's demise in 2009," Sudip said.

His father Manik Pal was a day labourer. "Today I am very happy that I secured a gold medal. My father would have been very proud," said Sudip, a volunteer since 2013 in Asansol. He was among the 90,000 civic volunteers engaged in the recent panchayat polls.

Sudip's dream is to complete PhD in philosophy and become a professor. "My target is to complete MPhil and PhD in philosophy, my favourite subject. I do not know whether I will be able to fulfil my dream because I also have to keep earning to help my family," said Sudip, who earns around Rs 5,500 a month.

Elder brother Pradip, married with a six-year-old son, works at a private engineering college in Asansol as a lab technician but his income is not enough to run the family.

Sudip was delighted when Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee last week announced a hike of Rs 2,500 for the civic volunteers, taking their salaries to around Rs 8,000 per month.

Asked how he found time for studies despite his daily job grind of eight to 12 hours, Sudip said he cut down on sleep.

"I will personally congratulate him (Sudip) and ensure he can continue his studies alongside work," Asansol-Durgapur police commissioner L.N. Meena said.

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