At 14, labourer’s son is a computer grad

Updated on Aug 10, 2007 05:01 AM IST

Shailendra Verma is the country’s youngest computer science graduate after securing a BCA degree from Lucknow University, reports Rajeev Mullick.

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None | By, Lucknow

Fourteen-year-old Shailendra Verma is the country’s youngest computer science graduate. He may be the world’s youngest computer science graduate as well, but Lucknow University officials say they are not sure.

Shailendra passed the Bachelor of Computer Applications (BCA) from Lucknow University with first division (74.93 pc). His father Tej Bahadur Verma is a daily wage labourer and mother Chhaya Devi is illiterate. Earlier this year, his seven-year-old sister Sushma Verma became the youngest matriculate of the country, passing the UP Board’s Class X examination.

Shailendra has applied for Masters in Computer Applications in IGNOU and would prepare simultaneously for CAT. He wants a career in software development. “But it’s very early now,” he says. Right now his target is to get into an IIM.

About his experiences at the university, Shailendra says he felt a “some communication gap in the first semester with classmates who were much older. But within few months we became friendly. And in my final semester, I even helped some freshers.”

Former President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is his inspiration. Shailendra believes there are many child prodigies across the country waiting to prove their mettle.

“Kids from poor families don’t need charity. They need opportunity,” he adds. Considering his family’s financial condition, LU had appealed for sponsors. Many people helped with his tuition fees, study material and other needs.

Tej Bahadur Verma recalls, tears rolling down his cheeks, when his son decided to seek admission at LU in the BCA course, “Hindustan Times was the first to pitch in with financial assistance.”

University V-C R.P. Singh says Shailendra’s family could stay at the international hostel.


    Rajeev Mullick is a Special Correspondent, he writes on education, telecom and heads city bureau at Lucknow. Love travelling

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