Auto-rickshaw driver's daughter Prema Jayakumar tops CA exam

Prema Jayakumar

The poky confines of her 300 sq ft chawl could not deter Prema Jayakumar from dreaming big and now this autorickshaw driver's daughter is set to live her dream, having topped the all India Chartered Accountancy (CA) examination.

Prema, 24, is ecstatic to have secured the first rank in the examination conducted by the prestigious Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in November 2012, results of which were announced yesterday.

"It's my lifetime achievement. For me the key to success is hardwork," she said when asked about how she felt about having topped the examination, one of the toughest in the country.

Slightly built and modest, Prema, who earned Rs 6,000 a month during her articleship at Chartered Accountancy firm Kishore Seth & Company, credited her father Jayakumar Perumal and homemaker mother Lingammal for her success.

"It would not have been possible without their support and blessings. My parents always motivated me. I would now want my parents, who have done so much for me, to live a life of comfort," she said as a doting Jayakumar, in his khaki uniform, flashed a broad smile.

"I am proud of my parents who never allowed money to come in the way of my academic pursuit and that of my brother," she said as she held her mother in tender embrace at their tiny asbestos-roofed dwelling at S B Khan Chawl in suburban Malad.

"Now I want my father, who has worked so hard so that can I realise my dreams, to take some rest," says Prema, a graduate from Nagindas Khandwala College.

Jayakumar, who has toiled long hours every day to get good education for his children, nodded in approval.

"Umra bhi ho gayi. Ab kuch aram karoonga, bahut achcha lag raha hai. (I have grown old. Now I will take some rest, it feels so good)," says Jayakumar as he prepares to wind down after the day's hard work on Mumbai's noisy streets.

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