It is rightly said that learning has no limits of age, class or locality. Whether you are a toddler or with grey hair, an inhabitant of a 2 BHK in a city or a small house in a town, learning can never be bounded. All that matters is will power and a thirst for knowledge. Such is the life of a 15-year-old IITian — Jyoti Priyadarshi of Rae Bareilly, an avid reader of APJ Abdul Kalam’s biographies.

Her childhood

While still a toddler, mumbling few words and mispronouncing others, Jyoti developed a strong interest and love for books. At the age when kids jump at the sight of a toy, Jyoti asked her father to teach her from the ABC book. And at the age of 2.5, she started going to school, already prepared enough to skip kindergarten. The inquisitive and thoughtful toddler Jyoti is today one of the youngest IITians in India, with only 15 years of knowledge and experience.

And at the age of 2.5, she started going to school, already prepared enough to skip kindergarten. The inquisitive and thoughtful toddler Jyoti is today one of the youngest IITians in India, with only 15 years of knowledge and experience.

Jyoti’s thirst for knowledge never lost its zeal even with financial challenges. Her father Suresh Kumar is a math and social science teacher at a junior high school while her mother, Manju Chaudhary is a homemaker. Earning Rs 60,000 per month, he is the single bread earner for a family of eleven members. Jyoti lived with her family at Betaura village under Deeh block, where she started her schooling. The family shifted to Rae Bareilly town only when Jyoti was in class 11. This picture clearly portrays that Jyoti was deprived of many utilities and means to have a standard education at a school with good infrastructure. She even could not afford a tutor or a coaching class.

Read Also:  Girl Power – Leadership and Beyond

Nothing could hold her back

In spite of all major barriers in her education, she managed to pass her matriculation (UPSEB) with 89.5% at the age of 13. This year, she has cleared her intermediate with 84.4% and cracked the IITJEE Advanced, one of the toughest exams in India, grabbing a seat in IIT. She has secured 342 rank and a seat in the five-year mining and machinery engineering programme at IIT(ISM) Dhanbad.

“My parents have made sacrifices and are still making sacrifices for me. This is what will help me cope up in a class of 40, where most are in the 18-20 age group”

Brought up in a village and educated in a town, Jyoti’s dedication has secured her a seat among the most brilliant minds from all over India. “My parents have made sacrifices and are still making sacrifices for me. This is what will help me cope up in a class of 40, where most are in the 18-20 age group” said Jyoti in a telephonic conversation with TOI.

The story of IITian Jyoti, while still a 15-year-old teen, is a proverbial example of “where there is a will, there is a way”. She portrays how learning can overcome all barrier of society.

Why her story excites us

Her story shows the possibility of an upsurge in the child literacy rate in India. If the Indian government strengthens the education sector of villages and towns, many meritorious and brilliant students like Jyoti can get their wings. Besides, being a girl child in India, Jyoti, literally becomes the light in the darkness of female infanticide, molestation and child marriage. Ambitious and meritorious girls like Jyoti are the future of empowered women in India.

Read More: Why We Need To Tell Our Girls Stories Of Powerful Female Role Models

Rudrani Kumari is an intern at SheThePeople.TV  

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.