*According to the CBSE Syllabus 2023-24, this chapter has been renumbered as Chapter 8.
We are here to offer you the most comprehensive, accurate and reliable NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 9 Bholi. The chapter is included in the Class 10 English supplementary reader Footprints Without Feet. These NCERT Solutions of Class 10 have been meticulously designed by our subject-matter experts, keeping in mind the standards set forth by the CBSE board. Students can benefit from the solutions and pass their examinations with flying colours.
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Bholi is a term that translates into ‘simpleton’. The chapter is about a girl named Sulekha, who is called Bholi because she is a very simple girl. She is the youngest daughter of Ramlal. She is different from all other children of Ramlal, for she is neither beautiful nor intelligent. This makes her father worried and concerned about her marriage. On the day of her marriage, Sulekha takes a bold step of rejecting the marriage. What makes her do so? Read this inspiring story to know.
For solutions to all the questions of the chapter, refer here.
Access answers to NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 9 Bholi here
Question 1. Why is Bholi’s father worried about her?
Answer: Bholi was different from other children. She neither had good looks nor intelligence. Bholi’s father was worried about finding a good bridegroom for Bholi.
Question 2. For what unusual reasons is Bholi sent to school?
Answer: The Tehsildar had ordered Bholi’s father Ramlal to send his daughters to school to set an example. Ramlal’s wife felt that sending daughters to school would impact their marriage prospects. However, she said that Bholi could be sent to school because there is anyway less chance of her getting married with such an ugly face and no intelligence. Thus, Bholi was sent to school.
Read and Find Out (Page No. 55)
Question 1. Does Bholi enjoy her first day at school?
Answer: Yes, Bholi enjoyed her first day at school. Initially, she was frightened. But, she was delighted to find so many girls of her own age present there. She felt that one of the girls might become her friend. Also, there were a lot of pictures on the classroom wall that enticed her.
Question 2. Does she find her teacher different from the people at home?
Answer: Yes, she finds her teacher quite different from the people at home. At home, she is never spoken to in a polite manner, but her teacher speaks to her in a very soothing way.
At home, she was disregarded for stammering, but her teacher encouraged her to speak with confidence instead of making fun of her. This touched her heart.
Read and Find Out (Page No. 58)
Question 1. Why do Bholi’s parents accept Bishamber’s marriage proposal?
Answer: Bholi’s parents accepted Bishamber’s marriage proposal because they thought that Bholi might never get another marriage proposal and might stay unmarried for her entire life. Bishamber was a well-to-do grocer and had not asked for dowry too.
Question 2. Why does the marriage not take place?
Answer: When Bishamber saw the pock-marks on Bholi’s face, he demanded five thousand rupees from Ramlal. Due to the demand for dowry, Bholi refused to get married to him.
Think About It
Question 1. Bholi had many apprehensions about going to school. What made her feel that she was going to a better place than her home?
Answer: Bholi had many apprehensions about going to school. She had seen Lakshmi, their old cow, getting sold out.
When Bholi was given clean clothes to wear, was bathed, and her hair was oiled, she felt that she was going to a better place than her home.
Question 2. How did Bholi’s teacher play an important role in changing the course of her life?
Answer: Bholi’s teacher did not make fun of her stammering like others used to do. She encouraged her to speak without any fear. Unlike others, she was polite to Bholi. The teacher played an important role in changing the course of her life and making her a confident person who could read, write and speak with clarity.
Question 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?
Answer: Bholi agreed to an unequal match at first because she had overheard her parents talking about the marriage proposal. They were concerned about her marriage and thought that this was the best proposal Bholi could get as the man had not even asked for dowry.
On the day of marriage, when the bridegroom saw Bholi’s pock-marks, he demanded a dowry of five thousand rupees. He humiliated her father for the dowry. That is why she rejected the marriage.
This tells us that Bholi has self-respect and confidence. She did not want her father to give dowry for her marriage. She was able to take a brave and wise decision on her own.
Question 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?
Answer: Bholi means simpleton. She never takes her stand. She follows what is told. She even agrees to an unequal match for the sake of her parents. But, towards the end of the story, when she sees her father pleading in front of the bridegroom and getting humiliated, she refuses to get married. She is called Sulekha at that point in the story because she is now a mature and intelligent girl who is able to take her own decisions. She is aware of her rights and does not let anyone humiliate her family.
Question 5. Bholi’s story must have moved you. Do you think girl children are not treated on par with boys? You are aware that the government has introduced a scheme to save the girl child as the sex ratio is declining. The scheme is called Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Save the Girl Child.
Read about the scheme and design a poster in groups of four and display on the school notice board.
Answer: Do it yourself.
Talk About It
Question 1. Bholi’s teacher helped her overcome social barriers by encouraging and motivating her. How do you think you can contribute towards changing the social attitudes illustrated in this story?
Answer: We can contribute towards changing the social attitudes illustrated in the story by:
- Ensuring that girls and boys are aware of their rights
- Treating girls and boys equally
- Giving them equal right to education and employment
- Saying ‘No’ to dowry
Question 2. Should girls be aware of their rights, and assert them? Should girls and boys have the same rights, duties and privileges? What are some of the ways in which society treats them differently? When we speak of ‘human rights’, do we differentiate between girls’ rights and boys’ rights?
Answer: Yes, girls should definitely be aware of their rights and assert them. Girls and boys must have the same rights, duties and privileges.
People treat boys and girls differently, especially in villages and small towns. Parents tend to spend more on the education of boys as compared to girls. They train their daughters to be polite, calm and an expert at household chores.
When we speak of ‘human rights’, the law does not differentiate between girls’ rights and boys’ rights. But this disparity exists in society.
Question 3. Do you think the characters in the story were speaking to each other in English? If not, in which language were they speaking? (You can get clues from the names of the persons and the non-English words used in the story.)
Answer: No, the characters in the story were not speaking to each other in English. Words in the text like pitaji, tehsildaar, izzat, numberdar, etc. indicate that the characters in the story were speaking in Hindi.