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Teenager cycles 75 km to reach JEE exam centre in Kolkata


KOLKATA: A 19-year-old JEE (Main) examinee in West Bengal had to travel 75 km riding a bicycle from his village in South 24-Parganas and even cross a river to reach the examination centre at Salt Lake in Kolkata on Wednesday, the second day of the all-India entrance exam.

The teenager, who scored 85 per cent in the Class XII board exam last year, was riding pillion on his father’s cycle. He utilised the travel time to go through last-minute revision.

“I had been preparing for past two years. Had a public transport been available, going to the examination centre would not have been a such a nightmarish journey. I took the trouble because I did not want my effort to go waste,” said Diganta Mondal.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had strongly opposed the Centre’s decision to conduct NEET and JEE exams in September amid Covid-19 pandemic. Diganta and his father Rabi, a small farmer, left home on Tuesday afternoon on two bicycles. They crossed the Bidyadhari river on a boat. They kept riding with the help of two torchlights and reached Piyal, a village in the Sunderbans delta. “We spent the night at the house of a relative,” said Diganta.

Next morning, Rabi decided to carry his son as pillion. “I didn’t want him to reach the exam center in an exhausted state. We left Piyali before daybreak and I kept cycling for over 50 km. On the way, Diganta revised the syllabus for last time,” said Rabi.