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.


Note: The aforesaid news article Published in The Hindu Mumbai Edition on 22nd January, 2013 updated on 23rd January, 2013
Autorickshaw driver’s daughter tops CA examination
MUMBAI: Surmounting all odds, Prema Jayakumar, daughter of a Mumbai-based autorickshaw driver, has topped the all India Chartered Accountancy (CA) examination.
Residing in a crammed one-room chawl in suburban Malad with her parents and brother, the 24-year-old told on Tuesday she was ecstatic to have secured the first rank in the examination conducted in November 2012 by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, results of which were announced on Monday.
“It’s my lifetime achievement. For me, the key to success is hardwork,” an elated Prema said
Her family, originally from Tamil Nadu, is settled for the last several years in Mumbai where her father Jayakumar Perumal drives an auto-rickshaw for a living.
Prema, who secured an impressive 607 marks out of 800, credits her parents for the success and now wants them to live a life of comfort.
“It would not have been possible without their support and blessings. My parents always motivated me. I would now want my parents, who did so much for me, to live a life of comfort,” Prema, who did her articleship with Kishore Seth and Company, said.
Prema said she was proud of her father and homemaker mother who never allowed money to come in the way of her academic pursuit and that of her 22-year-old brother, who also cleared the tough CA examination with her.
Both siblings had registered together with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India to take the test in November last year.
Displaying academic excellence earlier too, Prema had stood second in her B.Com Third year examination conducted by Mumbai University, securing 90% marks.

Note: The aforesaid news article Published in The Times of India Mumbai Edition on 22nd January, 2013

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