Lucknow :A 13 year old daughter of a poor labourer in Uttar Pradesh has baffled everybody by galloping to a masters programme in microbiology,but at this age she should be in school.
Sushma Verma was the youngest ever to pass class 12 exams, at just over 9 years. Now the teen prodigy has finished her graduation and has been named in the merit list for microbiology at the Lucknow University.She begins her masters classes next week.
Sushmas father Tej Bahadur Verma, a daily wage labourer, earns barely two hundred rupees a day to feed a family of five.But when he saw his daughters name on the merit list, he paid the initial fee of Rs.25,000 instantly, not thinking about the rest,at least 75,000 rupees to be paid later.The family had to sell their land to pay for Sushmas education.
At their one room home in Lucknow, their most precious possessions are a study table and a second hand computer.
“I think education is important for my children, so I didnot hesitate in selling the land. We never got the chance to study,I donot want my children to work as labourers, I will do whatever I can to educate them,” says Verma.
It took three years of college for Sushma to get used to studying with big boys and girls. At first, it was intimidating but everyone was really nice to me, so I was okay, she smiles.
Many at her college are shocked to see a senior who looks little more than a schoolgirl.
She is much younger, but I will give her the respect any senior deserves,said Renu Rathore, a third year science student and a year junior to Sushma.
Sushma wants to be a doctor and tried for medical college after school but was just too young. Now she plans to give her dream another shot when she turns 18. Age, she says, is just a number.