Ever since he got to know that he cleared the chartered accountancy finals in the first attempt, 23 -year-old M. Gnana Sampath has been itching to go home.
“I can’t wait for my people to say, ‘auditor vandhaachu,’” says the all-India third-rank holder who hails from Pogalur near Coimbatore.
“There are barely three or four graduates there. My parents do not even know what a CA is. But that is the place that taught me to take education seriously,” he says.
“At a very young age, I was sent to Ellapalyam where my grandparents live, because at Pogular I had to walk up to 3 km and then travel by bus for an hour to reach school,” he says.
Gnana Sampath hails from an agricultural family and says his father wished for him to study so he wouldn’t have to depend of farming.
“We were completely dependent on well irrigation. A few years ago, when the fields dried up, our life collapsed. We have been living on my father’s savings since then,” he says.
Last week, when Gnana Sampath told his parents he scored 593 marks and secured a national rank, his mother had one thing to say, “Don’t roam around much on a bike. There is too much traffic in Chennai.”
“My parents have barely studied up to class VIII, but my uncle, a B.Com graduate, was an accountant with the RBI. He was my hero. Though I was interested in science, I chose the commerce stream to break the circle of poverty,” he says.
Gnana Sampath pursued B.Com at PSG College of Arts in Coimbatore. “Everybody there wore good clothes and spoke great English. I was extremely shy for the first couple of years. But later, I learnt to mingle,” says the student who has already cleared Cost and Works Accountancy.He underwent a rigorous schedule when he moved to a mansion in Chennai a few years ago.
“I tried to manage with as little money as possible because I was dependent on my father. I got Rs. 7,000 as stipend but that was not enough in a city like Chennai,” he says. The day began as early as 6 a.m. with classes, after which he would spend all day at ICAI in Nungambakkam preparing, and then go to evening classes.
His room has just the bare essentials and the TV is plugged off. “Fear of failure kept me focussed. I didn’t want to spend more money. It is time I gave my parents some relief,” he says.
His peers speak highly of him. “He is very dedicated. Even in class, when asked a question, he would wait for others to answer. When everybody gave up, he would softly give out the right answer,” says his roommate Nagasabarish who hails from Pollachi.
Gnana Sampath is also an inspiration for him, he says. “It is by looking at him and learning from him that I cleared my CA finals in the first go this year,” Nagasabarish says.