CBSE Class 10 English Footprints Without Feet - Bholi Summary & Notes

According to the CBSE Syllabus 2023-24, this chapter has been renumbered as Chapter 8.

Summary of Bholi

Chapter 9 of Class 10 English Supplementary Reader – Footprints Without Feet, consists of a prose – Bholi, which is about a young girl named Sulekha, who was also called Bholi. She was treated with contempt by everyone for her appearance and lack of intelligence. When she grew up, her marriage was fixed to a greedy middle-aged man, but she refused to marry him. What happens next? Want to know more? Read the summary of this chapter in the form of CBSE English Notes Class 10 here. CBSE Class 10 students can access the prose summary of Bholi here. They can refer to the CBSE Class 10 English Prose Notes – Bholi while prepping for their Board exams.

Students can also practice CBSE Essays on various topics to improve their writing section for the English exam.

CBSE Class 10 English Bholi Summary

Bholi was written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas (K.A. Abbas), who was a popular Indian film director, journalist and novelist known for his works in Hindi, Urdu and other languages. This story is about a young girl named Sulekha, who was popularly referred to as ‘Bholi’ for her simple nature. At ten months, she fell from her cot, which caused some severe damage to her brain, and she used to stammer when she learnt to talk. Bholi was born a pretty child, but she suffered from smallpox that left dark pock-marks on her face permanently. The ugly marks spoiled her appearance, and people would often make fun of her due to her dullness. They would also consider her to be retarded as she stammered while speaking.

Bholi’s father, Ramlal had around seven children, out of which three were sons, and four were daughters. Among all daughters, Bholi was the youngest. All her siblings were hale and hearty except young Bholi. Her parents were worried about her and how to get her married when she grew older. One fine day, Tehsildar Sahib had come to perform an inaugural ceremony at a primary school for girls in the village. He told Ramlal to send all his daughters to school. When Ramlal discussed this with his wife, she objected and stated that nobody would marry their daughters if they were sent to school. Yet, she agreed to send Bholi to school as they were not sure if she would ever get married for her appearance or feeble-mindedness.

Initially, Bholi was sceptical about going to school as she had never heard about it. However, on the first day of school, she was groomed properly and sent to school; she assumed that it was a better place than her own home. When she reached school, she was elated to see girls of her age around. She wanted to make friends but dared not to open her mouth due to stammering. However, when the class teacher smilingly asked her name, she stammered in front of the entire class, and all the girls started laughing at her. This discouraged her completely. She started weeping and understood that nobody would like to be friends with her. Soon her teacher, a kind-hearted lady, encouraged her to tell her name again. She stammered yet again but was finally able to tell her full name. Her teacher gave her a few good books with pictures and asked her to read those as it would help her to overcome her stammering habit. She also told Bholi to come to school regularly. This gave the young girl a new ray of hope and assurance of a new life.

Many years passed, and the village soon became a small town and saw many improvements around it. Soon, there was a marriage proposal for Bholi. The prospective bridegroom, Bishamber Nath, was a limping old man with grown-up children. He was almost Bholi’s father’s age. However, Ramlal’s family agreed to the alliance as they felt he was a well-settled fellow. Bholi’s elder sisters were, however, envious of the great pomp and show at their younger sister’s wedding. However, when the groom, Bishamber, was about to put the garland around the bride’s neck, a woman slowly slipped the veil from Bholi’s face. The groom was surprised to see the pockmarks on her face and refused to marry her without a dowry of five thousand rupees. Bholi’s father, Ramlal, somehow arranged the amount and gave it to Bishamber Nath.

However, as the groom tried to garland the bride, Bholi held his hand and refused to marry such a voracious person. All the people present in the wedding were stunned to see how confidently she spoke without stuttering. The groom felt insulted and returned to his village. Later, Bholi assured her father that she would take care of him and her mother in their old age and would become a teacher in the same school where she learnt so many new and good things. Looking at this, Bholi’s teacher, who was watching from a distance, felt a deep sense of relief and satisfaction at Bholi’s courage and confidence that she exhibited in front of so many people.

Conclusion of Bholi

Bholi illustrates that proper moral and emotional protection should be given to children during the formative years of childhood to help them grow up into responsible citizens. We hope this CBSE Class 10 English Footprints Without Feet Prose Summary of Bholi enriches the minds of students to get an in-depth insight into the chapter. Besides, you can visit BYJU’S to access resources on CBSE Notes and CBSE study material and sample papers, question papers, etc., while preparing for your Board exams. Also, you can download BYJU’S – The Learning App for more informational and knowledgeable content.

Frequently Asked Questions on CBSE Class 10 English Bholi


Who is the author of ‘Bholi’?

Bholi was written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas (K.A. Abbas), who was a popular Indian film director, journalist and novelist known for his works in Hindi, Urdu and other languages.


What is the meaning of a ‘sceptical’ attitude?

The attitude of doubting knowledge claims set forth in various areas is known as a sceptical attitude.


What are pockmarks?

Pockmarks are deep scars on the skin that do not usually go away on their own.


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