She lived on a pavement in the Indian city of Indore, and had nothing but the hard concrete to keep her books on, but that did not stop Bharti Khandekar from preparing for her class 10 exams, and achieving first division. In recognition for her hard work, the city’s civic body has gifted the teenaged girl and her family, an apartment.
Twitter users are sharing the story of Madhya Pradesh's Bharti, who is the daughter of two daily wage labourers, and scored 68 per cent in the exams.
Her father, Dasharath Khandekar, said that though he never went to school, he worked hard to ensure his children were not deprived of an education. The family used to live in a hut facing a pavement in the city's Shivaji Market, but that was demolished during an encroachment drive.
"My wife and I are daily wage labourers. In the morning I go to work and my wife works as a sweeper in a school. Bharti manages her younger brothers. Then she studies till 1am at night, both of them wake up turn by turn to guard Bharti," Dasharath said, according to Indian media reports.
After instructions from Indore Municipal commissioner Pratibha Pal, an official informed her family about their new house.
"A girl from Indore who was living on footpath secured first division. Commissioner took cognisance and gifted the girl a one bedroom, hall and kitchen flat. Commission also made arrangements so that the girl gets further education free of cost. Table, chair, books, clothes were also provided to her," a representative from the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana government programme was quoted as saying.
Bharti credited her success to her parents and also thanked her teachers and mentors, while talking about her future aspirations.
"I secured 68 per cent in class 10. The credit of my success goes to my parents who worked hard to send me school. I am happy. I want to become an [Indian Administrative Service] IAS officer. We were born on the footpath, and studied there. We didn't have a house to live in, we were staying on the footpath. I would like to thank the administration for gifting me this house and making my further education free," she was quoted as saying, by Indian media outlets.
Bharti’s mother, Laxmi Khandekar, added that her daughter worked really hard to secure the results.
"I am happy that my daughter passed the class 10 examination and got us a house. Earlier, we were living on the footpath. For us, my daughter is like [Hindu deity] Lakshmi. My husband and I, both are illiterate. But our children are studying in government schools. I get Rs 2,000 (Dh97) per month. My daughter studied very hard," she was quoted as saying.
Twitter users appreciated Bharti’s achievement and congratulated her.
Tweep @Anurag_Dwary shared a clip of Bharti seen studying on the pavement and wrote: “From the pavement of Shivaji Market in Indore, Bharti Khandekar and her family will move to a flat gifted by @comindore. Bharti scored 68 per cent in class 10, her father Dashrath Khandekar works as a daily wage labourer…”
Twitter user @RajaRamkiJai posted: “Way to go young lady. Hard work does payoff. Thank you to the corporation for their magnanimity in gifting her the flat.”