All of 13 and pursuing MSc in Microbiology! Meet Sushma Verma
Sushma Verma finished her class 10 at age seven and became a graduate at age 13.Daughter of a daily wage labourer and an illiterate mother, Sushma is now pursuing her MSc in Microbiology at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Lucknow. This is the inspiring story of a young girl who is determined to wait for the right time so that she can chase her childhood dream.
Lucknow-based Sushma Verma has been hitting the headlines for quite a few years now.
The 13-year old wonder girl first shot into the spotlight in 2007 when she broke all past records to become the youngest matriculate in the country.
At seven, she made it to the Limca Book of Records. Sushma had beaten none other than her own brother Shailendra, who had passed the Uttar Pradesh High School examination at the age of nine.
While Shailendra is pursuing MCA in Bangalore, Sushma is in her first year MSc in Microbiology at the central government-run Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Lucknow, whose vice chancellor S B Sobti has gone out of his way to exempt her from paying tuition fee. Other education expenses will be borne by Sulabh International, a leading Indian NGO working for the impoverished.
Realising Sushma’s poor financial health, Sulabh’s chief Dr Bindeshwari Pathak announced a grant of Rs 8,00,000 towards higher education of the child prodigy.
Interestingly Sushma hails from a family of illiterates; her parents find it difficult to even make two ends meet.
“Sushma’s mother never went to school, but I have cleared Class VIII”, asserts her father Tej Bahadur who is a class IV employee at St Meera’s Inter College in Lucknow’s Alambagh area, the same institute where Sushma completed her class 12.
Although she lives in a single-room tenement, she’s least daunted by her financial or social odds.
“We don’t have a television at home. My only pastime is to play with my two-year old sister Ananya,” she says.
Ever since she grew confident of charting her own career, she wanted to pursue medicine. “I always dreamed of becoming a doctor,” she says.
At the age of 10 after completing her class 12, she took the Combined Pre-Medical Test for admission to the MBBS course, but her result was withheld because the authorities found her to be underage.
That’s how she came about choosing Microbiology for her undergraduation.
She doesn’t hide her disappointment when asked about her medical dreams. “Let them not grant me admission to MBBS if I am underage, but if they could let me know whether I touched the qualifying level or not; because that would give me an idea as to where I stand in terms of fulfilling my dream to become a doctor”, pleads the 13-year old in an interview