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For 2024 Board Exam
CBSE Competency Based Questions:
Class 10
Class 12

Bholi | NCERT Solution | Class 10

Updated: Apr 23, 2022


  • The story highlights the condemnation of evil practice of dowry in the society.

  • The story also focusses on the need of women empowerment through education.

  • The story portrays the arduous journey of a girl disfigured with pock-marks and how she fights out to become an iconoclast in the society.

Lesson-At-A-Glance :

  • Bholi is a touching story of Sulekha, a little girl who suffers a head injury in her childhood and suffers from developmental problems.

  • The seventh child of Ramlal, a prosperous revenue official, Sulekha is called Bholi because she does not seem to be intelligent.

  • She suffered an attack of chicken pox which leaves her scarred with pick marks.

  • She spoke very little as she was teased because she used to stammer a lot.

  • Bholi's parents were worried as all her brothers and sisters were healthy and good-looking except her.

  • A primary school came up in the village when Bholi was seven years old.

  • Based on the suggestion of Bholi's mother Bholi was sent to school as she had little chance of getting married.

  • Bholi is frightened when she her father, Ramlal, tried to take her to the school. When Bholi was given clean clothes she feels that going to school might be a good idea.

  • At school her teacher was a kind soul who immediately took care of Boli.

  • She assured Bholi that she would be able to speak like everyone else, and that people would not laugh at her, but listen to her with respect.

  • Many years later Bholi's parents arranged her marriage to Bishamber, a middle-aged grocer with grown-up children.

  • On the day of the wedding when the groom saw saw Bholi's pock-marked face, he demanded money from Ramlal, her father.

  • Bholi asked her father to cancel this marriage as she would not mary such a greedy and contemptible man.

  • The guests at the wedding were surprised at such a bold decision by Bholi. But Bholi remained steadfast in her decision.

  • When her father Ramlal expressed his worry at the turn of events, Bholi assured him that she could be around her parents to take care of them in case she did not get married.

  • She further told him that she could teach at the school from where she had studied.

  • Her teacher who was standing in one corner looked with a sense of pride for Bholi and endorsed her decision.

NCERT Solution:

Read and Find out ( Page 54)

Why is Bholi's father worried about her?

Ans: An attack of small pox leaves Bholi scarred with pock marks. She stammers and other children make fun of her. As a result, Bholi withdraws and speaks very little. Therefore, her parents were very worried about her.

For what unusual reasons is Bholi sent to school?

During the opening ceremony of the primary school for girls in the village, the Tehsildar asked Ramlal to send his daughters to school so as to set an example for others in the village. But Ramlal's wife thinks that none of her daughters would get married if they were sent to school. she suggested her husband to send Bholi to school as she has little chance of getting married owing to her disfigured pock-marked face.

Read and Find Out ( Page 55)

Does Bholi enjoy her first day at school?

On the first day of her school her teacher gives her a picture book and informs her that she will soon be able to speak like everyone else. She will be more learned than all the villagers and then everyone will respect her. These encouraging words from her teacher inspired Bholi on her first day.

Does she find her teacher different from the people at home?

Ans: At home Bholi feels isolated as no one takes care of her. However, at school her teacher is kind and caring. Instead of scolding Bholi for stammering, her teacher encourages Bholi to pronounce her name. She gives her a picture book and says she will soon learn to speak fluently and become a role model for the whole village. Thus bholi finds her teacher different from the people at home.

Read and Find Out ( Page 58)

Why do Bholi's parents accept Bishamber's marriage proposal?

Ans: Bholi's parents think that Bholi will be fortunate enough to get such a wealthy bridegroom. He is from another village and does not ask for any dowry. Therefore, they accept Bishamber's marriage proposal.

Why does the marriage not take place?

On seeing the pock marks on Bholi's face, her prospective husband demands a dowry of five thousand rupees. In spite of repeated requests the groom did not agree and threatens to cancel the marriage. Therefore, Bholi gets angry and says that she will not marry such a mean, greedy and a coward like Bishamber.

Think about it:

1. Bholi had many apprehensions about going to school. What made her feel that she was going to a better place than her home?

As a run-up to preparation of going to school, Bholi's hair was oiled and she was bahed. She was also given a clean dress which had shrunk after many washings and which actually belonged to Champa. Thus Bholi felt that she was going to a better place than her home.

2. How did Bholi’s teacher play an important role in changing the course of her life?

When Bholi joined the school, she stammered and could barely speak and was frightened. Her transformation into an educated and well-spoken woman was possible due to the sincere commitment of her teacher. Her teacher contributed in the following ways:

  • a) The teacher encouraged Bholi to speak softly and assured her that she would speak like everyone else in future.

  • b) She convinced Bholi to come to school everyday.

  • c) She gave Bholi a book. She furher encouraged her that she would be able to read the book in no time and then she would be given bigger books.

  • d) She also encouraged Bholi that one day she would be ore learned than any other person in the village.

  • She further said that people would no longer laugh at her, but listen to her with respect.

After many years of her schooling at her wedding, Bholi refused to marry a greedy man and stood up against an extortionist bridegroom who demanded dowry form her father because of her disfigured pock-marked face . Thus Bholi's teacher exemplifies the role that teachers can play in one's life and in the context of Bholi played a transformational role. Bholi's confidence, independence and values are the outcome of her teacher's commitment and selfless devotion.

3. Why did Bholi at first agree to an unequal match? Why did she later reject the marriage? What does this tell us about her?

In order to avoid being a burden on her parents for a lifetime, Bholi probably agreed to an unequal match. She was having a pock-marked face and therefore she had apprehensions like her parents that no man would marry her. This is probably the reason why Bholi did not say no to an unequal match.

Her values and self-respect that she imbibed from her teacher made her reject the man who demanded dowry to the tune of five thousand rupees due to her pock-marked face.

This tells us about her she was having self-respect and courage to bring about a sea change in the society. This was possible because of the way her teacher inculcated values in her and confidence to fight out any injustice.

4. Bholi’s real name is Sulekha. We are told this right at the beginning. But only in the last but one paragraph of the story is Bholi called Sulekha again. Why do you think she is called Sulekha at that point in the story?

Bholi is called Sulekha again as she has turned out to be an educated girl owing to the relentless effort of her teacher. She has grown up to be a woman who is able to judge right from wrong and take independent decisions. She has stood up against her prospetive husband when he demanded a sum of five thousand rupees owing to her disfigured face. Thus she has shown her values and outright protest at the injustice and tried to bring about a transformation in the society.

Extra Questions for Practice.
  1. What happened to Bholi when she was ten months old?

  2. Why did Bholi begin to cry when her teacher asked her name?

  3. Who was Bishamber? why did Bholi's parents accept his marriage proposal?

  4. Why did Bholi refuse to marry Bishamber?

  5. Describe the interaction between Bholi and her teacher on her first day at school?

5-mark Questions for Practice
  1. How did Bholi's teacher bring about a transformation in the personality of Bholi. Explain with instances from the text.

  2. How did Bholi oppose her marriage with Bishamber? Describe the circumstances that led to the cancellation of the marriage.

  3. Bholi's teacher looked on with the deep satisfaction of an artist contemplating the completion of her masterpiece. What 'masterpiece' had she created? Why did her masterpiece give her immense satisfaction? Explain with instances from the text.

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