Rani Verma lost her hands to an accident five years ago, her mother to death days before she was to appear for her matriculation examination. But the hard knocks in life never got to her spirit and she appeared for the Class 10 examination this year, writing with her feet.
On Tuesday, the 14-year-old's grit got the recognition it deserved. And it came from none other than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “Moved by her courage and determination to beat all odds (after reading about her on the May 8 edition of HT), he has sanctioned Rs 1 lakh from the Prime Minister’s Discretionary Fund as financial assistance to Rani Verma,” Sanjaya Baru, Media Adviser to the PM, announced.
The Varanasi girl lost both her hands when she was in the fifth standard. But she desperately wanted to study. In less than a year, she learnt to write with her feet. It seemed like life was looking up for Rani but days before the matriculation examination, she lost her mother. “Losing my mother was more painful than losing my arms, but I still appeared for the exam and am confident I will do well,” she recently told HT.
Rani aspires to be an engineer and build dams, bridges and skyscrapers — her contribution to the development of India. The PM’s initiative could help her achieve this goal. The amount will be put in a fixed deposit in the name of her father Ramesh Chandra Verma. He will be entitled to withdraw the interest to meet Rani’s educational expenses. The principal amount of Rs 1 lakh would be given to Rani four years later, when she turns 18.