Sushma Verma has just completed an undergraduate degree in microbiology and is going on to receive her Master’s degree with no time in between studies. Sushma is no average girl, yet she was born to parents with an uneducated and poor background.
The Vermas have made huge sacrifices to provide for their daughter and allow her to study, especially in a predominantly male culture where girls aren’t always afforded the opportunity to go to school as long as boys, and are often married to older men for large dowries.
Sushma is the oldest of four children, and they all share a cramped bedroom in Lucknow, in Uttar Pradesh province of India. The family of six live off of her father’s daily wage of just 200 rupees, which equates to just over $3.50 in U.S. dollars for his building work. He even sold 10,000 square feet of land for 25,000 rupees (around $400 USD) to help pay for some of her schooling.
Many charities, especially those looking to help girls create successful lives for themselves in oppressive cultures, are helping to pay for the rest of her tuition.
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