“The day I start working, I will ensure that my father can rest at home. He has always toiled for my welfare.” Those were the words of Prema Jayakumar when she got the news that she has topped the All India Chartered Accountant exam.
Prema’s father has been driving an auto-rickshaw for the past 20 years to support his family of four. A single 300 sq. feet room is all that they have for living, studying, or sleeping. That too in a community in Malad where neighbors live almost on top of you – sparing no room for privacy or quietude required to prepare for highly competitive exams such as CA.
“Neighbors have been very kind. They maintained calm to ensure we weren’t disturbed,” says 22 year old Dhanraj, Prema’s brother, who also cleared the CA exam, bringing double the joys for the family. Dhanraj credits his success to his older sister. It was their very first shot at the exam and they both cleared with flying colors. “We always studied together. My sister has been my guiding force,” proud Dhanraj adds.
This is not the first time Prema has topped some exam. She has been a star all along in academics. She ranked 2nd in Mumbai University, in B Com third year exams. At school level too she excelled in studies, earning regular scholarship that came handy in paying school fees.
Her brother also worked in Call Center whenever there was a need for extra money but they never compromised on their studies. Once they started doing articleship, money wasn’t really a problem.
“Despite my father being an auto-rickshaw driver, he ensured that I was never deprived of education because of lack of money. I also earned scholarships at various levels. Today, I want to thank them all for their support and motivation. It is now my dream to give back to my parents all that they have given me,” Prema told India Today.
Ever since the news broke on Monday, Prema has turned into a celebrity in Malad. Many cannot clear CA exam even after multiple attempts but Prema and her brother cracked it in their very first attempt and not only that, beating all odds, Prema topped the exam in the whole country. That is an inspiration to all.
“We were never pressurized by our parents to study. However, we knew that education is our only means to change the lives we have lived. Now that my brother and I have reached this stage, we would like to make most of it and give our parents a good life. They have always done a lot for us in whatever circumstances we lived,” Prema added while speaking to India Today.
It’s an incredible story of hard work and determination. Yet another example that given equal opportunity, girls can shine too.
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