Rani Verma writes and draws, and can use a mobile phone and a laptop with ease. Many three-year-olds can do all that, so what’s all the fuss about this 17-year-old’s ‘achievements’?
Firstly, Verma does this much and more without her hands. She has no hands. She lost both her arms to a pumping set accident when she was nine.
More significantly, this girl from Dallipur village near Varanasi has cleared the Uttar Pradesh Technical University (UPTU) entrance examination and has bagged a seat at a reputed engineering college in Ghaziabad.
Verma is now just a step away from realising her childhood dream — becoming a mechanical engineer. Next week, she begins her mechanical engineering course at RKGIT College in Ghaziabad.
Verma has come this far with a remarkable display of grit over the last eight years. It is her tribute to her late mother.
“Both my arms had to be amputated fully. Even though I was a girl, my mother Suryapati Devi — teacher at a primary school — taught me to write with my toes,” Verma told HT.
Initially, Verma was reluctant to touch her books and writing materials with her feet. “Wouldn’t it amount to dishonouring the goddess Saraswati?”
But she gradually overcame her reservations. And her father, a smalltime farmer with just half a bigha of land, overcame his financial constraints to let her continue with her studies.
“We never considered her a burden for being a girl. She changed her own destiny and, one day, will change ours too,” said Ramesh Chand Verma, her father.
“We will bear all her expenses — she is a brilliant girl,” said DK Goel, chairman of RKGIT College.
“My mother died of a stroke the day before my Class 10 examination. On her death bed, she told me not to give up my studies. I will definitely become an engineer and join the Indian Administrative Service…,” said Verma with a determined look in her eyes.