CHENNAI: The 488 marks that she secured in the class 10 state board examination was not enough to put V Priyadarshini of Perambur among the toppers of Chennai Corporation schools.
That honour would go to her friend, and ‘bench mate’ as she put it, M Jaya who secured the third spot after scoring 489. On Thursday, the duo, both students of Market Street School in Perambur, stood in the lobby of the Ripon Buildings here patiently interacting with media persons.
Every time they were quizzed on their future plans, they would say, “We want to become Chartered Accountants.” Who suggested it to them? “No one, we have always wanted to become CAs. We need to help our families financially,” says Priyadarshini, with a smile.
Finances do matter to them. Priyadarshini’s father abandoned her and the family when she was in Class I. It has been an uphill battle ever since and her mother, Sathyabama, embodies the family’s struggles. With a little help courtesy of her uncles, Priyadarshini and her brother, who is now in Class 10, would make do with whatever her mother earned from the only occupation she knew: tailoring.
“It was never difficult studying for exams though I had to assist mother in doing household work. During the exams, my brother filled in for me. He would ask me to study and he would do the chores instead,” she says.
Jaya, whose father works as a security guard at a popular mall in Mylapore, attributes her achievement to the space provided by her family to learn. Of course, studying in corporation schools helped because anywhere else was impossible considering her father’s earning of `9,000 per month.
“We were always studious and during special class hours, our teachers would ask us to help our friends to study as well. It was only then that we realised how difficult the role of a teacher was,” Jaya says and breaks out into laughter.
So, after all the good work, does this success taste sweet? “Success is when we both become CAs. These are mere milestones on the way,” adds Jaya before signing off.