teenager set to pursue her msc in microbiology
Archana Srivastava
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com
Lucknow, 3 September
Sushma Verma is just 13 years old with an extraordinary achievement to her credit. The `wonder girl’ is all set to pursue her Master of Science (M Sc) in Microbiology from the University of Lucknow. The child prodigy will embark on her post-graduate course when others of her age group will be studying in Class VII.
Help is pouring in from all quarters to sponsor Sushma’s education, given her modest family background. Lyricist Javed Akhtar has already expressed the desire to finance her education.
Inquiries on the count have been made by him from the university administration. Microbiologist Abjijeet Patil, who runs an NGO, has also ventured to help her. Another NGO Sulabh International has announced that it will give her Rs 5 lakh, besides assistance in other forms to help her pursue her studies. Local people are willing to gift her laptop, mobile etc. People from overseas have also expressed the desire to help the child prodigy. They include Sunny Fernandes from Kuwait,  Rafat Sarosh of Microsoft, Dr Vinayak Prasad of WHO.
Chief proctor of Lucknow University Dr Manoj Dixit today said "Sushma’s future is absolutely secure as far as her studies are concerned. We are proud to have such a child on our rolls.  The university is trying to arrange for a suitable accommodation where she can live with her parents.’’
The procter added, “We are hopeful that this will be done by tomorrow.” Given the child’s age and her background, hostel accommodation was not deemed fit by the university.
The daughter of Tej Bahadur, a daily wage earner, has already bagged the Limca Book of Records title of the ‘youngest Indian’ to have passed  the Class X examination at the tender age of seven. This was no mean achievement, given that Sushma was tutored at home prior to seeking admission in class IX, when she was only five years old. Her tutor at home was her brother who taught her  English and Mathematics, while her father, who has studied till Class VIII, taught her Hindi. She became a graduate with 66 per cent marks from a Lucknow University (LU)-affiliated college when she was 13 years old.
Due to  lack of funds Sushma’s father had to sell  his land to fulfil his daughter’s desire to become a post graduate and pursue her dream of becoming a doctor.
Sushma visted LU yesterday to get her letter confirming her admission to the M Sc Microbiology course. Though she could not get the letter for some procedural delay, she interacted with her teachers and seniors, many of whom were curious to know more about her, given that she had also secured the second rank in the cut-off list for post graduate courses of the university.
Sushma regrets that she will not be able to take the CPMT exam owing to the age bar. Until then, she has intentions of doing her PhD.