Teen Girl Living On Mumbai Footpath Clears SSC Exams, MLA Promises Part-Time Job

Mumbai footpath girl

Seventeen-year-old Asma Salim Shaikh battled financial odds and scored 40 percent in the Maharashtra SSC exam. All her life, Asma Salim has been living on Mumbai footpaths outside Azad Maidan along with parents and brother. Asma the daughter of a lemon juice vendor had no access to basic amenities and studied under the streetlights but the girl has proved her mettle by scoring 40 percent in SSC exams. Now, Asma’s results have impressed Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik who has promised her a part-time job and a house for her to move out from the footpath.

After learning about Asma Salim’s living condition, Sarnaik posted a video on Twitter saying, “Asma will be offered a part-time job in the Fort area to help with her further education.”

Further, adding to the good news he was quoted, “Asma does not have a home of her own. She lives with her parents and brother. In fact, I will try to get Asma a small house in the same way as MMRDA provides houses to those affected by road widening in Mumbai, Thane and Mira Bhayandar. Her dream is to take her father, who sells lemonade on the street, to her own house on the sidewalk. We will definitely try for that.”

What You Should Know

  • Studying under streetlights, this Mumbai footpath girl scored 40 percent in the Maharashtra SSC examination.
  • Asma lives on the pavement in Mumbai with her family.
  • After learning about her condition, Pratap Sarnaik promised Asma a part-time job and a house.

Asma is a student of Hirjeebhoy Allarakhia and Laljeebhoy Sajan Girls High School, Masjid Bunder. When asked about her plans, she said she wants to pursue Arts in Junior college. She said she wants to become a journalist and aims to complete her further studies in the humanities stream, Mumbai Mirror, reported.

Also Read: Labourer’s Daughter Makes It To Indian Women’s Soccer Team

Asma Salim celebrates with her father

Asma also works with her father and sells lemon juice or corn on the roadside to make a living. She would accompany her father to the Byculla market to buy the daily stock of lemons. In leisure time, Asma would study for long hours, Times of India reported. Her father also enrolled her for tuition despite living in a poor condition. After the lockdown, he was out of work as his lemon juice stall was shut. Since then he hasn’t been able to pay the fees. “I have been working very hard to be able to study. I would even use the street light in the night, just to be able to read. I usually studied during the night because it is less crowded then,” she told ANI,

However, talking about many other challenges, Asma added, “Yes it’s a bit difficult to study during the rainy season. But my father used to make a plastic shade.” 

Talking about her daughter’s achievement, Sheikh was quoted saying, “I am very happy that my daughter has scored 40 percent and it’s a proud movement for me. I only studied until the first standard. People staying here on the footpath hardly study.”

“I came here with my father and have been living here since my childhood. I will be happy if my daughter can make her life stable and successful,” he concluded. After Asma’s remarkable results, she was also offered help from Yuva Sena leader Rahul Kanal, a member of BMC’s education committee, who assured to find a hostel for her and also gave a sum Rs 21,000 as a gift. She also received a mobile phone, books, a college bag and a raincoat. Asma, who is already prepping to apply for junior college admissions, said, “I am still giving interviews. Many people are coming to meet me,” a Mirror report quoted Asma.

Feature Image Credit: IBTimes India

Read More Stories By Ria Das