In our privileged journey of life, when we are provided with all of the best necessities, our mouth still doesn’t stop complaining about cons, neglecting all the pros, while some with not even a single asset, manage to be thankful for the life they have been provided with by not depending on the fate but on their hard work. Such is the story of 17-year-old Ashma Shaikh who lives on the footpath with her parents and brother. The family lives on the footpath at Azad Maidan in Fort, Mumbai, and despite the hardships, Ashma secured 40 per cent in SSC exams. While most of us barely pass even with every resource at our beck and call, Ashma’s score speaks volumes about the immense hard work she has put in her studies. Ashma is a student of Hirjeebhoy Allahrakhia Laljeebhoy Sajan Girls High School in Dongri.
Her father, a lime juice vendor, works extremely hard to ensure that both his children, Ashma and her brother, get access to proper education. But due to Coronavirus pandemics and induced lockdown throughout the country, he has been out of work and owes Rs 6,000 in dues. Ashma’s result worked as a silver lining in dark clouds. In an interview to Times of India, she said: “It was difficult to study during the day due to the continuous honking and traffic, so I would prefer to study at night under the streetlight. Ashma wants to keep studying further and her aspiration is to pursue arts and become a journalist and there is more way to go.
Not everyone is blessed with the means to achieve their dreams and goals in their life right from the beginning. Some, in fact, most have to work really hard to get to a place where they can say, ‘I made it’. Not having access to many things also make one value the same. Studying under streetlights is something we have probably seen only in movies but its a reality for Ashma and her family and that’s how you turn your dreams into reality.
— Pratap Baburao Sarnaik (@PratapSarnaik) July 30, 2020
After coming across Ashma’s story of success and getting inspired by her way of coping with struggles and learning about the plight of the family, Shiv Sena MLA, Pratap Sarnaik has assured her that he will provide her part-time job as well as a house through MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority) which is a body of the Government of Maharashtra that is responsible for the infrastructure development of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The MMRDA was set up on 26 January 1975 under the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority Act, 1974 Government of Maharashtra as an apex body for planning and co-ordination of development activities in the Region.
Ashma proved that a person who is a sole believer of fate always seeks for the opportunities to knock their door while a person who is a sole believer of hard work, turns every pebble in search of it and of course hard work always pays. Keep your head towards the sky and feet on the ground. Keep your privilege in check and make the most of it while also lending a helping hand to those who need it more than you