Bengaluru, May 23: Seventeen-year-old Shalini, who doubles up as a housemaid to support her family, has found a solid reason to dream big. She recently appeared in the two-year pre-university course (PUC) board exam and scored an impressive 85 percent.
“My hard work has paid off. I used to study for fil exams whenever I was free from work as maid in five-six homes around the neighbourhood and household chores,” a gritty Shalini told IANS at her small rented home in the city’s western suburb. The Kartaka Examition Authority declared the PUC results on May 18 for the exams held in March across the state. Though distinction was not knew to this only daughter of a poor family, as she scored 86 percent in 10th class board exam two years ago, it is her ability to repeat the feat despite adversity that inspires.
While preparing for her exams, she also looked after an ailing father Armugam, bed-ridden since falling from a building over a decade ago, and younger brother Surya, who is undergoing treatment at a state-run hospital for blood cancer.
“As my mother (Vijay) is the only earning member and works as a domestic help in dozen homes, I used assist her and learn washing utensils and clothes, sweeping and mopping floors and sprinkle water in front of houses to draw rangoli (colours).
Later, she also took up the same work at some houses to add to the family’s income. Having studied in Tamil medium up to seventh class, eighth and ninth class in Kanda medium, Shalini switched over to English medium in 10th class. She wrote the exams in English with ease from Vivekvardhani School.
“Tamil is my mother tongue and Kanda is the local language. I opted for English in 10th class to do PUC and degree in the same language,” Shalini shared in flawless English. A shy and reserved ward, Shalini surprised even those for whom she worked as a domestic help. “They (owners) were delighted to see me talking about my performance in PUC on news channels and read about me in some newspapers with my phone. They wondered how I maged to study so well while doing maid work in their homes,” Shalini said. (IANS)