Every once in a while you come across a story that leaves you with a warm glow inside. Here’s one such tale of triumph against all odds.
Asma Sheikh, a 17-year-old footpath dweller, has scored 40 percent in this year’s Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination, conducted by the Maharashtra state board.
The results were declared on July 29. Speaking to ANI, Asma Sheikh said, “I have been working very hard to be able to study. I would even use the street light in the night, just to be able to read. I usually studied during the night because it is less crowded then.”
When asked how she managed to study during the monsoon season, she admitted that it was difficult. “Yes it's a bit difficult to study during the rainy season. But my father used to make a makeshift canopy with plastic/tarpaulin sheets to help me keep dry,” added Asma.
She also said that she was expecting to get more than what she managed to score. “I was expecting to score more than 40 percent. But I am happy with my marks," she said. Sheikh wants to pursue further studies in Arts.
"I will be happy to get admission in any college and many people have come forward to help me and encourage me to study harder," she added.
Asma's father Salim Sheikh said, "I am very happy that my daughter has scored 40 percent and it's a proud moment for me. I only studied till the first standard. People staying here on the footpath hardly study."
Salim does not have any fixed regular employment. He makes odd sales like selling juice and corn on the streets of Mumbai.
Asma was a student of Hirjeebhoy Allarakhia and Laljeebhoy Sajan Girls High School, but her father was not able to pay her fees for the last six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation. However, some local political groups and social workers came to their aid and helped them with Asma’s school fees.
"I came here with my father and have been living here since my childhood. I will be happy if my daughter can make her life stable and successful," he concluded.