13-yr-old Indian girl begins microbiology master’s

Sep 18, 2013

In a country where many girls are still discouraged from going to school, Sushma Verma is having anything but a typical childhood.


The 13-year-old girl from a poor family in north India has enrolled in a master's degree in microbiology, after her father sold his land to pay for some of his daughter's tuition in the hope of catapulting her into India's growing middle class.

Verma finished high school at 7 and earned an undergraduate degree at age 13 -€” milestones she said were possible only with the sacrifices and encouragement of her uneducated and impoverished parents.

"They allowed me to do what I wanted to do," Verma said in an interview Sunday, speaking her native language of Hindi. "I hope that other parents don't impose their choices on their children."

Sushma lives a very modest life with her three younger siblings and her parents — eating, sleeping and studying alongside them in a cramped single-room apartment in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state.

Their only income is her father's daily wage of up to 200 rupees (less than $3.50) for laboring on construction sites. Their most precious possessions include a study table and a second-hand computer.

Written By: AP
continue to source article at theguardian.com

0 comments on “13-yr-old Indian girl begins microbiology master’s

  • 4
    Stafford Gordon says:

    What a wonderful heart warming story!

    Our daughters could have applied for Government loans for university, but I was in the fortunate position of having a property to sell.

    This girl’s dad is dirt poor and has made a huge sacrifice for his child. Go girl, go!



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  • 7
    Light Wave says:

    The brightest minds in the world should be enabled through scholarships in some sort of world education fund as most poor people don’t want a hand-out but a hand-up. There must be thousands of kids like this going un noticed and lack of money should never be allowed to hold back the most brilliant minds… There’s plenty cash to go round (if distributed a little more equally) but clever people pop up randomly regardless of money, we should be seeking them out to cultivate them….for the betterment of all future humans



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  • 8
    veggiemanuk says:

    In reply to #7 by Light Wave:

    The brightest minds in the world should be enabled through scholarships in some sort of world education fund as most poor people don’t want a hand-out but a hand-up. There must be thousands of kids like this going un noticed and lack of money should never be allowed to hold back the most brilliant m…

    And in the meantime, what of those not so bright left in squalor?



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  • 9
    WaffleWolfer says:

    Heartwarming. This brings to mind the following words of Stephen Jay Gould:

    “I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.”



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  • 10
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    Indeed an inspiring story. Her father deserves a lot of credit. Not only for sacrificing his land but having the foresight to recognize the exceptional potential of his daughter. Future generations absolutely need brilliant young minds like Sushma. The cost of wasting their talent is way too high.



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  • In reply to #9 by WaffleWolfer:

    Heartwarming. This brings to mind the following words of Stephen Jay Gould:“I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.”

    One of the best comments I’ve ever heard. I it brings to mind bright children I’ve come across from disadvantaged backgrounds – failing in inner cities daily.



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  • 12
    Light Wave says:

    In reply to #8 by veggiemanuk:

    In reply to #7 by Light Wave:

    Do you think I was suggesting that ??? I’m sure you know I wasn’t – but I’ll explain it to you anyway….. I was – in fact suggesting we help to educate the brightest minds that will possibly benefit all of humanity with their superior knowledge one day – probably much more than your average poor person who equally may need help….But maybe we cant help everyone ! although ‘the west’ do try to help poor people everywhere….who would you suggest we help if there is limited funds ?



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  • 13
    Blasphemyman says:

    Hopefully this young lady will become a famous intellectual in the near future!

    The Indian government should be in total support of her exceptional intellectual
    talent!



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  • 14
    veggiemanuk says:

    In reply to #12 by Light Wave:

    In reply to #8 by veggiemanuk:

    In reply to #7 by Light Wave:

    Do you think I was suggesting that ??? I’m sure you know I wasn’t – but I’ll explain it to you anyway….. I was – in fact suggesting we help to educate the brightest minds that will possibly benefit all of humanity with their superior…

    How about Anyone and Everyone regardless of talent, ability or background, equally and fairly. I am not suggesting that bright, intelligent people should be held back, by all means accelerate their progress as needed but do not do it at the expense of anyone else.



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  • 15
    Light Wave says:

    In reply to #14 by veggiemanuk:

    In reply to #12 by Light Wave:

    In reply to #8 by veggiemanuk:

    In reply to #7 by Light Wave:

    Did you even read this article ? my comment was addressing the outstanding intelligence of this very poor girl and not to the millions of poor people that I didn’t mention in my comment.!..I find your argument is going round in a kind of pointless circle….I don’t object to the idea of helping all poor people if possible….But stick to the topic please…Bright poor people are very worthy of help and are equally entitled to help …what do you mean – don’t help bright people at the expense of anyone else ?



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