Against all odds, Autorickshaw Driver’s Daughter Tops CA exams. She could not control her emotions and burst into tears when she heard the news of her CA results. “I was happy for me, my family and for the new life that I will enter,” said Prema Jayakumar, daughter of an autorickshaw driver from Tamil Nadu, who lives in a chawl in Malad, Mumbai.

Prema has topped the nationwide Chartered Accountancy examination in her first attempt.

The tenement that she calls home is all of 280 sq. ft. where she and her family live. But she is excited by the sudden elevation of her social status, which will be soon be followed by financial uplift.

Not only was she happy for her, but also for her younger brother, who along with her cracked the same examination. “We both can take care of our family very easily. It’s a matter of few months now, till I get a job. I hope I shouldn’t face much difficulty in that now,” Ms. Jayakumar told The Hindu.

The national first rank is something Ms. Jayakumar had not imagined when she appeared for the examination. “I was sure about passing the exam. I would have been happy with that result. But the first rank was a big surprise,” she said, laughing loudly.

Jayakumar Perumal, her father, moved to Mumbai 25 years ago from Periyakolliyur in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu in search of a better life. “I have been driving this auto for 20 years now. I raised my three children on money I earned from auto driving. I always encouraged them to study and I am very happy for what they achieved,” he said.

Ms. Jayakumar started her preparations for CA exams in 2008, after she completed her T.Y. B.Com. “I didn’t go to any coaching class for my entrance and chose to join coaching classes only for final exam. I received scholarship from my class, so I didn’t have to pay for them,” she said. “They found me cleverer and brighter than others. The scholarship meant that my parents didn’t have to worry about my educational expenses,” she said, embarrassed a little by the self-praise.

Dhanraj, her brother, who completed his T.Y.B. Com in 2010, studied for CA exam along with her. “He had also set his goal of becoming a chartered accountant, when he was in 12th standard. He was studying from then and later on we started studying together. He also worked in a call centre when he was doing his graduation,” she said.

Political leaders in Tamil Nadu praised Prema, daughter of an autorickshaw driver from the state, who topped the nationwide Chartered Accountant examinations, besides announcing awards for the girl.

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Showering praises on Prema, Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan announced an award of Rs 5 lakh for her, noting that the girl’s father Jayakumar, a native of Villupuram in Tamil Nadu migrated to Mumbai in search of a livelihood two decades ago.

“I personally feel that Prema’s performance should set an example for others to study well”, he said.

Mr. Vasan said he had ordered the Ennore Port to release the amount from its Corporate Social Responsibility programme to the girl.

The minister said he had spoken to the girl’s father and also congratulated Prema, who lives at Malad in Mumbai.

Congratulating Prema, DMK president M Karunanidhi also announced a Rs 1 lakh award for her.

I want My Father to Take Rest Now, Says CA Topper

“I want my father to retire and enjoy the rest of his life peacefully as I can now take care of him and the family,” said young Prema Jayakumar, daughter of an auto-rickshaw driver, here on Saturday. Prema hit the headlines recently by surmounting many odds to emerge as the topper in the 2012 All-India Chartered Accountancy Examination.

Motivating other students like her, she said: “Nothing is impossible. Self-confidence, hard work and dedication are the keys to achieve success.”

Prema (25), who hails from Malad, Mumbai, was felicitated on Saturday with an award of Rs.1 lakh by Jyotrimoy School of Law, a private institute of the State.

Speaking about her objective in life, Prema said: “My aim is to earn respect in every work I indulge myself in and to work with dedication and honesty.”

Describing her examination result as a “lifetime achievement” for her, she said: “My success is not only due to my hard work but also due to the constant guidance and motivation from my parents and teachers.”

Her father is a Class VIII dropout whereas her mother, who used to work as a domestic help until a few years ago, studied only until Class III. Despite a low family income and several hardships, they ensured that their daughter pursued higher studies.

Topping the CA exam was a reward for her parents’ hard work, she said, since she and her brother had earned respect in the eyes of society for their parents. “As me and my brother are the first generation of our family to receive quality education, we have made our parents very proud,” she added.

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Note : This article was taken from “The Hindu” published on  January 22, 2013

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