A class VIII student of St. Michael’s School, Siliguri — ranked among West Bengal’s Top 3 co-ed boarding schools in the latest EW India School Rankings 2019-20 — Shrivalli Ghosh (13) is national champion of the Classmate Spelling Bee Season 12. The first, second and third runners up were students of DPS, Ghaziabad, Army Public School, Mumbai, and Shri Shikshayatan, Kolkata.
In the final round held on February 27 and hosted by Bollywood actress Soha Ali Khan in Mumbai, Shrivalli Ghosh bested 16 finalists from 30 cities countrywide to win the cash prize of Rs.200,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to witness the Scripps Spelling Bee 2021 finals in Washington (USA) next May.
This early teen’s interest in hard to-spell words and their etymology goes back to 2016, when at age nine she registered with the Kolkata-based English Wizard Foundation to participate in their annual Wiz National Spell Bee — her first spelling competition. Although she didn’t win, she acquired the experience to be adjudged runner-up in the next season (2017). “Having avidly followed the world-famous US Scripps Spelling Bee on television, it’s my dream to witness this prestigious competition live in Washington,” says Shrivalli.
An only child of Silguri-based single parent Sagina Ghosh, an English teacher at St. Michael’s School, Shrivalli started reading avidly at age nine. “Although I started reading later than most of my peers, currently I read at least five books every month,” says this die-hard J.K. Rowling fan.
Clear about her future career path after completing Plus Two, Shrivalli Ghosh wants to join India’s brigade of selfless Covid warriors and qualify as a medical practitioner. “I want to save humanity from disease and improve India’s health services,” says this young spelling champ.
Way to go, Sis!
Paromita Sengupta (Bangalore)
Also read: Nikhil Ramachandran