Child prodigy gets help to fulfil dream
13-year-old graduate gets Rs 8L to pursue higher studies
Uttar Pradesh child prodigy Sushma Verma, who is the “Youngest Graduate of India”, on Sunday got a helping hand from a voluntary organisation to enable her to fulfil her dreams.
Sulabh International, which is active in the field of sanitation, handed over Rs 8 lakh cash award to 13-year-old Sushma, supposed to be the youngest graduate in the country, so that she can pursue higher education and to ensure that her poor family is able to tide over financial hardships.
Sulabh founder Bindeshwar Pathak said Rs 3 lakh will also be given to Sushma, who has enrolled herself for the MSc (Microbiology) course at Ambedkar University here, after six months. Apart from Rs 8 lakh, Pathak also handed over an iPhone, an iPad, a laptop, a desktop and an LED TV.
He also promised to fulfil her dream of higher studies in India and abroad.
While giving the cash award to Sushma, daughter of Tej Bahadur Verma, a daily wage labourer, Pathak promised to provide housing facility near university campus to ensure better environment for the bright student.
This has come as a boon to the family as it had to sell their land to pay for the girl’s education.
Her father earns barely Rs 200 a day to feed a family of five who live at a one-room home in Lucknow.
Pathak said the girl was an inspiration for students. “With the prize money, Sushma can fulfil her requirements. We will extend all support to the child even later on,” he said.
Sushma, who cleared high school at the age of 7, had a brush with another child prodigy Thathagat Tulsi, who had passed the class 10 exam at the age of 9. Now he teaches at IIT-Mumbai after he finished his higher studies at Indian Institude of Science, Bangalore, and the US.
Sulabh had earlier adopted Tathagat Tulsi, the child prodigy from Bihar and provided financial support for his higher studies. Now, he is an assistant professor at IIT, Mumbai. He was also present on the occasion on Sunday to motivate Sushma.
After achieving the title of “youngest Indian” to pass the class 10 exam at the age of 7, Sushma’s name found a place in the Limca Book of Records. When she was 10 years old, she took the Combined Pre-Medical Test.