Around Rs 5,000 is all what Ajmal Hussain earns a month by working as a waiter at a bar-cum-hotel in Guwahati’s Fancy Bazar area to run the family of four. His family lives in a dilapidated house on a hilltop. But he has a reason to smile now: His son Sarfaraz Hussain has clinched the top position in Class X examinations in Assam, the results of which were declared on Tuesday.

Sarfaraz secured 98.33 per cent marks (590 out of 600) in the exam. He scored 100 in general science, 99 in mathematics and advanced mathematics, 98 in social studies and 97 in English and Assamese.

“I’m very happy as my hard work has reaped rich dividends. I was confident of cracking the top-10,” an elated Sarfaraz told Express. He aspires to serve the country as an engineer. Sarfaraz has a college-going sister.

“He’s stood first all along. He is a very amiable boy,” said the school’s principal, Akshay Kalita.

“We could give him nothing except love, care and guidance. Despite being stricken by poverty, he remained focused on his goal,” Sarfaraz’s father Ajmal said.

“Even as a child, he was very sincere. We knew that he would make us proud someday,” he said.

Incidentally, Sarfaraz’s school belongs to an RSS-affiliated body. The Assamese-medium Sankardev Sishu Niketan is a part of the group of schools run by the Shishu Shiksha Samiti, which is a state-level committee of RSS-affiliated Vidya Bharati.

The government announced financial assistance to Sarfaraz for higher studies. “The state government will deposit Rs 5 lakh as a fixed deposit for his higher studies. Sarfaraz told me he wants to study Class XII at the Cotton College (in Guwahati). The government will bear all his educational expenses up to Class XII,” Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who visited the school to meet and congratulate Sarfaraz, told reporters. He also announced that the government would build an approach road to the school within a month and offer Rs10 lakh for its infrastructure development. Altogether 3.8 lakh students appeared in the exam in which the pass percentage was 62.2.