Baiga was among 89 meritorious students of Classes 10 and 12 of the Chhattisgarh Board of Secondary Education (CGBSE) who were given joyrides in a seven-seater helicopter by the state government, an official from the public relations department said.
The programme was organised at the helipad in Police Parade Ground in Raipur, he said. A native of Mannabedi village in Kabirdham district, Baiga is the student of Swami Atmanand Government English Medium School at Bodla in the district, the official said.
The girl, who scored 88.16 per cent marks in the Class 10 examination, comes from a humble family and her mother works as a cook in her village’s primary school. She resides in a hostel to pursue studies, he said.
“We are six siblings. My elder sister brought me to Raipur for the joyride. I will never forget this day in my life, as I had never imagined that I would board a chopper. We belong to a special backward tribal community, and I want to see progress within my community,” said the excited teen who aspired to be a doctor.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel had last year announced helicopter ride as a reward for meritorious students of Classes 10 and 12 examinations under the Swami Aatmanand Medhavi Chhatra Protsahan Yojana, the official said.
This year, at least 49 students of Class 10 and 30 from Class 12 have made it to the list. Among the Scheduled Tribes, 10 students, five each from Classes 10 and 12, have topped in their respective categories, he said.
At least 125 meritorious students were taken for the helicopter ride last year, he said.
“This extraordinary initiative aims to inspire and motivate young minds, showcasing the limitless possibilities that await those who strive for excellence,” the official said.
State School Education Minister Premsai Singh Tekam, School Education Secretary S Bharathidasan and other senior officials were present on the occasion.