Impoverished 13-Year-Old Indian Girl Begins Master’s Degree Program

by Karl Utermohlen | September 16, 2013 12:14 pm

A 13-year-old Indian girl is turning heads as she is enrolled in a master’s degree in microbiology at Lucknow’s B. R. Ambedkar Central University thanks to her hard work and her father’s sacrifices.

The Associated Press reports that Sushma Verma[1] comes from a poor family in north India where she has worked her entire life to get out of there and into the growing middle class. Her father sold some land in order to help pay for her tuition because he only makes 200 rupees (less than $3.50) from his job working in construction.

Sushma is also getting a $12,600 grant for tuition from a charity that usually helps to improve rural sewage systems. The young girl has been studying her entire life, earning her high school diploma at age 7 and her undergraduate degree at 13.

She lives a modest life in Lucknow – the capital of Uttar Pradesh – with her parents and three younger siblings in a single-room apartment with a study table and a second-hand computer. Sushma isn’t the only overachiever in her family as her older brother graduated high school at age 9 and got his computer science degree at 14.

Sushma hopes to get a doctorate degree after she finishes her master’s degree in microbiology.

Endnotes:
  1. The Associated Press reports that Sushma Verma: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_INDIA_CHILD_PRODIGY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

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