There are many occasions in life when one seeks something, gets an opportunity to further it and reach that 'something', but soon enough, for one reason or the other, that 'something' is taken from them. It is pitiable and we read about such stories day in, day out but the truth of its denial sticks.
The 98 percent-er 'could have' put in more number of hours of study a day and topped. But she didn't. She slacked off in her own eyes and lost self-determination to push herself for those 2 extra hours a day. She did not give up because that would not let her have come to the podium that she was standing on today. But she used those two hours a day to talk to her new found love, a classmate with whom she communicated only via the Internet and through glimpses caught from the first row in classes. Opportunities lost, Opportunities found.
Like many others of her age, she wanted to do something big and make a change in this tumultuous world. She allowed herself to believe that working in an NGO might further this. She got two great opportunities. She could work at the grassroots with the people infected by the diseases of urban life, deprived of resources because their urban counterparts took it all for themselves. She needed to do this. She wanted to, but was being unable to do so. Her father did not want her to mingle with the womenfolk, children, and especially not the HIV patients in those villages, who the NGOs were trying to help.
A thousand children would not receive her help because she was his only child.