Newly crowned CBSE Class X topper Vanisha Pathak, who lost both of her parents to COVID-19, was inspired by her father’s last words where he said “himmat rakhna (have courage)”. The young girl from Bhopal was arguably dealt the toughest cards by life when she lost her parents during the second wave of the pandemic. However, Vanisha converted all her love and sorrow into hard work, and emerged topper of the Class X exams.


It is said that the sands of time spares none, be it a young kid or a fully-grown adult. While most people try taking a stand during turbulent times and challenging phases in life, and eventually succumb to accepting the way of life, some fight against the flow of the fate and emerge victorious. Vanisha Pathak is one such girl.

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Meet Vanisha Pathak, the Class X Topper

Scoring a high score in class 10th is a challenging task in itself, and when there’s a personal crisis added in the mix, it makes the achievement all the more glorious. Vanisha Pathak from Bhopal scored a perfect 100 in English, Sanskrit, Science and Social Science in her class 10th CBSE exams. She also scored a stellar 97 in mathematics. And she did all this while she was reeling from the death of both of her parents who left her in May 2021. It is true what they say, “the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory”.

Both Parents Getting COVID-19, Dying within Few Days

During the second wave of the deadly COVID-19 in India, Vanisha was studying hard for her exams when she was thrown into a pit of sadness. Both her parents – Jeetendra Kumar Pathak and Dr. Seema Pathak, had contracted the virus and eventually died in the hospital a few days of each other. Two untimely deaths threw the household into a disarray and made Vanisha to stand with her head held high against the tragedy.

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“I need to do something.” Greving Vanisha Takes Charge

With her younger 10-year-old brother Vivan, Vanisha realized that she was the only family to her brother and focused on balancing the fine line between her studies and her family life. In her interview to NDTV, Vanisha was quoted saying-

“(The memory of) my parents obviously kept me motivated and will motivate me throughout my life (but) he (the brother) is the biggest source of motivation right now… I am all he has and that keeps me going. I need to do something.”

“Himmat Rakhna”, “Believe in Yourself”: Last Words of Parents

She further added-

“The last thing my mother said to me was ‘just believe in yourself… we will back soon’. The last words of my father were ‘beta, himmat rakhna’ (stay strong, my child).”

And then Vanisha was struck with the horrifying news of her parents’ death.

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“His dream is my dream now”: Vanisha on Her Father’s Ambitions for Her

But the young girl showed grit in the face of tragedy and put all her energy into making her father’s dream come true. She said how her father wanted to see her in an IIT or crack a major civil service exam to serve the country. “His dream is my dream now,” the young girl said.

“I’ll be A Strong Girl Daddy”: Vanisha Writes Poem

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The household, which was thrown into disarray by the untimely death, has found some respite in Vanisha’s accomplishment. In her interview with NDTV, Vanisha also shared a poem in which she poured all the feelings she has not been able to share. The title of the poem is “I’ll be a strong girl, daddy, without you”, with excerpt which reads-

“With a heavy heart, I bid you goodbye

For you left me all alone to cry.

Now every tear fetches a memory of yours,

But I hold it back and don’t let it flow…”