Daughter of auto driver tops CA exam
“I could not control my emotions and I burst in to tears, when I first heard the news of my result. I was happy for me, my family and for the new life that I will enter in,” said Prema Jayakumar, a 25-years-old girl from Malad in suburban Mumbai who topped the nation-wide Chartered Accountancy exam and that too, in her first attempt.
For a girl, who lives in a flat in a chawl in lower middle class locality in suburban Mumbai, which has an area of around 280 square feet, and whose father is an auto-rickshaw driver and mother is a house maker, the result meant the sudden elevation of her social status, which will be soon be followed by financial uplift.
Not only was she happy for her, but also for her younger brother who along with her cracked the same exam. “We both can take care of our family very easily. It’s a matter of few months now, till I get a job. I hope I shouldn’t face much difficulty in that now,” Ms. Jayakumar told The Hindu.
The first rank in country in something Ms. Jayakumar had not imagined when she appeared for her exams. “I was sure about passing the exam. I was happy with that too. But achieving first rank was something, which has happened just unknowingly,” she said, laughing loudly.
Jayakumar Perumal, her father, moved to Mumbai 25 years ago from Periyakolliyur in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu in search of a better life. “I have been driving this auto for 20 years now. I raised my three children on money I earned from auto driving. I always encouraged them to study and I am very happy for what they achieved,” he said.
Ms. Jayakumar started her preparations for CA exams in 2008, after she graduated in B.Com. “I didn’t go to any coaching class for my entrance and chose to join coaching classes only for final exam. I received scholarship from my class, so I didn’t have to pay them,” she said. When asked why you were given the special scholarship, she said, in a slightly embarrassed voice, “They found me cleverer and brighter than others. Those made my parents never worry about my educational expenses.”
Dhanraj, her brother, who completed his B.Com in 2010, studied for CA exam along with her. “He had also set his goal of becoming chartered accountant, when he was in 12th standard. He was studying from then and later on we started studying together. He also worked in a call centre when he was doing his graduation,” she said.
Her father, though satisfied with his children’s achievement, has no plans to quit driving his auto. “They have done a great job and as a father I am very proud of them. But I am so used to driving auto; I can’t just relax and sit home. I will continue doing this until my health permits. After that, my children are capable to take care of me and of their mother,” he said.
“I was never discouraged from studies, for being a girl in last four years. Dhanraj and I were always equal for them (parents). It’s my duty to make sure that their rest of the life will go without any hardships. Don’t want him to see arguing with his customers over the meter tariff now,” she said.