By R. S.N. Murali
Seremban, The Star. She walks 15km to school from
her squatter house, sometimes without having had any food.
But 12-year-old R. Priya Ranjini overcame these hurdles
to score seven As in her UPSR examination recently.
Priya's achievement is all the more commendable as she
had to miss almost two months of school - in August and
September - to look after her four other siblings when
her mother came down with typhoid and was admitted to
the Seremban Hospital
"It was difficult to miss school as I was eager
to do well in the UPSR exam," said Priya, when met
at her squatter home at Kampung Pasir in Rasah here where
she lives with her parents and three younger brothers
and a sister.
The Sekolah Wawasan Seremban 2 student said she sometimes
had to study under the lamp-post outside her house as
it was too crammed inside.
"I will not let being poor affect my studies. I want
to do well in my studies so that I will be able to help
my family live a better life.
"I want to be a doctor one day and will strive to
achieve my dream even if I have to face many obstacles.
"I also hope the example I set will spur my brothers
and sister to also want to do well in their studies and
succeed in life," she added.
Priya's 36-year-old father R. Muthusamy works for an undertaker
and is only paid if there is a funeral, while her mother
N. Sumathi, 33, is a cleaner and earns about RM250 a month.
Because of this, it is not uncommon for Priya to go to
school without food or pocket money.
Sumathi said she was proud of her daughter's UPSR results.
"Priya burned the midnight oil, staying up late every
day to catch up on the lessons she had missed. I am indeed
proud of her," she added.