Lahore: A 15-year-old Sikh girl in Pakistan has emerged as the first girl from the minority community to be among the toppers of the Class 10 examination. Manbir Kaur from Nankana Sahib district of Punjab province has secured more than 1,000 marks in Secondary School Examination (SCE) this year, securing 1,035 marks out of 1,100.
She is not far behind from Shafaq Zahid, topper of the Punjab board of examination who secured 1,080 marks, and Aleena Mohsin who scored 1,079. The result was announced last week.
“She is the first Sikh girl who has got such a good marks in matriculation examination this year. And this very encouraging for her community,” Punjab Assembly member advocate Mary Gill said.
Gill, who belongs to ruling PML-N, told PTI today that the Punjab government will offer Manbir a scholarship at any institution for higher studies.
“Manbir is welcomed to take admission at any government institution in the province. The Punjab government has allocated Rs 20 million scholarship fund for the minority students in the province,” she said, adding an overall Rs 1 billion has been allocated for the development of the minority in Punjab.
Lauding the performance of Manbir, Gill said: “Pakistani Sikh girl students are performing better than (Sikh) boys who often are not interested in studies as they have to contribute to the family livelihood,” she said.
Manbir's father Giani Prem Singh is the head granthi at Gurdwara Sri Nankana Sahib, some 80 kilometres from here. Their house is not away from Gurdwara Janamasthan, the birth place of Baba Guru Nanak.
“The whole family is delighted over her brilliant performance. Manbir used to study 12 hours a day and her hard work paid off,” he said, adding the Sikh community in the district is proud of his daughter.
More than 200 Sikh families are living in Nankana Sahib. Manbir is mulling to join a private college in Lahore. By virtue of her good marks, she is entitled to a scholarship for both the government and private institutions. Manbir has applied for a pre-medical course (FSc) as she wants to become a doctor.
Citing her own example, Gill said: “No one can stop you from achieving your goal provided one works hard. And minority members are no exceptions.”
She said there might be hurdles for minority students but they must work hard to overcome them.