The story of how a 17-year-old girl supported her family and her dream to study is inspiring

“Forgive me, my English is very poor.”

17-year-old Shalini Arnugam topped in class X in her school and scored 84.8 % in class 12 this year. Her father, a hoarding painter, has been bed ridden for over a decade after he fell from a building. To support her family, Shalini’s mother took to working as a domestic help in the nearby houses.

From a Tamil-medium to a Kannada-medium school, Shalini is now in an English-medium engineering college. Her English is not as bad as she thinks.

After appearing for exams, Shalini shuffles between houses to do their household chores.

Her brother got diagnosed with blood cancer this year before her XII exams. After her exams got over, Shalini took over her mother’s job so her mother could stay with her son.

Shalini studies under the street lamps at night. “Tuitions cost no less than Rs 60,000 a year. We don’t have that kind of money.  But there’s no point brooding over that.” She told HT.

Besides all the hardships and struggles, Shalini continued to study. “Everyone around me was from ICSE, CBSE schools. They would talk in perfect English. I was from a Tamil-medium government school. But gradually I realised, now that I have joined college, I have to study.” 

Shalini finds her mother as her strength. She never asked her to discontinue her studies or ever discouraged her. She appeared for the Common Entrance Test and got herself a seat in REVA University, Bangalore, where she studies BTech.

She is working towards taking care of her brother’s health and chemotherapy. She dreams of studying abroad and is also considering to join civil services. “I’ve made it this far with others’ help, so I too want to help those who’ve been struggling in life.”

News Source: Hindustan Times