~By Nikita Mukherjee
At age 7 when most of us were barely able to dedicate 30 minutes to studying, Sushma had already completed her 10th. At the young age of 13, she had enrolled herself in college and was getting her Master’s Degree in Microbiology from Lucknow University.
And now, at the age of 15, she has achieved yet another milestone by becoming the youngest Indian to have been enrolled as a PhD student at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU) in Lucknow—a course where her classmates are probably eight to nine years older than her, at least!
Truth is that there are many bright, exceptional students hailing from poor families but there is only one Sushma Verma. In 2007, she entered the Limca Book of Records as the youngest student to clear the class X exam. At age 10, she was already sure of her career path and wanted to be a doctor for which she gave the Uttar Pradesh Combined Premedical Test (UCPMT). University rules, however, prohibited her from pursuing her academic goals and her result was withheld.
Wise and way matured for her age, Sushma told The Times of India in an interview, “A person should always be judged by his or her talent and potential, not by age. I desperately wanted to become a doctor but now I have to wait till I turn 17 — it’s a huge disappointment for me.”
What’s also truly amazing is that this kind of badassery runs in her family. Her older brother, Shailendra, proved his mettle when he became the youngest computer science graduate in India at the age of 14 in 2007. However, what has truly made all her accomplishments special is the fact that she graduated from the same college where her father works as a sanitation worker. Her 51-year-old father Tej Bahadur was in fact a daily wage worker before Vice-Chancellor of BBAU college Dr R C Sobti helped him get a job on campus as a sanitation supervisor, so that he could support his daughter and rest of the family.
It’s rather obvious that Sushma is an inspiration for every student alike. The nation is truly in awe of her spectacular achievements. And if children like Sushma are India’s future pioneers, then rest assured ‘India Shining’ is more of a reality, less of a dream!