A month ago, 16-year-old Meera Khoya was working at construction sites to make ends meet at home. Despite clearing her class 10 exams against tremendous odds, her future looked bleak.
On Tuesday, she was admitted to Nirmala College for girls – one of the best institutions that Ranchi has to offer. The college has promised her a scholarship and a seat at its hostel.
“I am elated today. I want to thank everyone who has helped me and this is an opportunity that will help me realise my dreams,” the teen said.
Help came for Meera when people got to know her story. With generous contributions, she now has Rs 3 lakh in her bank. The college says it is proud to have her on its rolls. “I want this girl to do very well. I am very proud we are getting a chance to help her fulfill her dreams,” said Principal Jyoti Kispotta.
Since she turned eight years old, Meera had been working at construction sites, carrying bricks for over 12 hours a day. On a good day, she managed to earn around RS 200. On alternate days, she headed for a small private school to catch up with her lessons.
The family had been in dire straits since Meera’s father died 12 years ago. Her mother takes up whatever job is available, and sometimes sells a local brew.
Till recently, the teen and her younger sister combined schooling with hard labour to contribute to the family income. Their brother is teaching football to children to put himself through college.
Their financial condition meant Meera even had to prune her ambition – settling for hopes of becoming a police officer instead of a doctor, since the cost of medical studies is something she dared not dream of.
Now, even that dream seems achievable. Someday.
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