Abject poverty could not deter T.Deepika of Government Higher Secondary School in Vedasandur near here from securing the third rank in the state, with a score of 496 marks.
On Friday, Ms.Deepika was showered with congratulatory notes, leaving her teachers and classmates jubilant. But to achieve this success, she had to struggle a lot and broke many barriers. Her family has only a limited income — from a small tea stall run by her father K.Thirupathi in Vedasandur, and the paltry sum earned by her mother Nirmala through tailoring.
“I assist my father and mother in my leisure time and on holidays. My ambition is to become a doctor and take my family out of poverty.”
Whenever there is a crowd in tea stall, Deepika prepares tea and serves it to customers. Sometimes, she also manages the stall, says Mr Tirupathi.
“When farm activities shrunk in Vedasandur, I abandoned farm work and set up the tea stall four years ago. My entire family had to work,” he says.
Deepika’s mother says the girl used to tie buttons on new clothes and assist her in tailoring in the evening. Deepika’s class teacher S. Thirunvaukarasi and English teacher Easwari motivated the girl a lot and supported her till she went to write the exam.