Mumbai: Daughter of a migrant Tamilian, an autorickshaw driver here and living in a small tenement, Prema Jayakumar is now on top of the world, having topped the nationwide chartered accountancy (CA) exams.
Since the exam result was announced, the family has been receiving phone calls from the media, top Indian and foreign companies eager to hire the genius from Malad suburb in north Mumbai.
The 24-year old Prema’s achievement with 607/800 marks came with a bonus with her younger brother Dhanraj Jayakumar, 22, also clearing the CA exams simultaneously, the results of which were announced Jan 21.
The 300-sq feet tenement in which the family lives is in a congested, noisy neighbourhood.
Speaking to the hordes of media-persons thronging the family home the past couple of days, Prema acknowledged that her father Jayakumar Perumal’s income was around Rs.15,000 per month, barely sufficient to sustain the family. Perumal hails from Tamil Nadu.
Prema’s mother Lingammal also worked in a small private company to supplement the household income for some years.
“But, my parents never restrained us from studies because of monetary issues. My mother stopped working when we (the brother-sister duo) started doing our articleship (CA internship) and earned around Rs.12,000 per month,” Prema said, holding Lingammal’s hand as her eyes moistened.
“Now, I want my father to take rest. He really deserves it,” Prema declared, adding that she and her brother planned to take up jobs soon and take over the family’s responsibilities.
Prema is no stranger to academic achievements and accolades, which started coming her way early in her academic life.
At her school and later the Nagindas Khandwala College, Malad, she was granted nominal scholarships which helped cover her educational expenses.
Later, at the CA coaching institute, she got a scholarship of Rs.40,000, solving the family’s acute financial problem.
On the other hand, Dhanraj chose not to burden his elder sister and worked in a call centre to supplement his income, which went towards his educational expenses.
Prema proved her worth for every scholarship and in 2008 stood second in the B.Com. examinations of the University of Mumbai, followed by a good performance in her post-graduation.
In November 2012, the duo appeared for the CA finals. While Prema created history, younger brother Dhanraj guided throughout by her also cleared the tough exams at the first attempt, making their parents proud.