Mumbai: A ramshackle bicycle, a steaming hot coffee, and night shifts — these were the only inputs of Ponraj Nadar towards his daughter’s education. However, she has gone on to become a Chartered Accountant (CA).
As the night gathers and the clock strikes 11, Ponraj Nadar cycles his way to Borivali station to serve hot cups of coffee to people returning from late night shifts. His motive in life is to educate and empower his daughters. One of whom cleared her CA final exams (The results were declared on Wednesday).
21-year-old Sibiya Nadar cleared her CA final exam in her second attempt. She said she is more proud of her father than he is of her. “All the credit of my success goes to my parents, especially my father. He used to be out making coffee for people all through the night and made sure I got all the arsenal needed to excel in my studies,” said Sibiya as she held her father in her arms.
Ponraj Nadar, 46, the proud father of Sibiya, said, “I just wanted my daughters to study. The things which we could not do, I wanted my daughter to do them. The things which we faced, I did not want my daughter to face,” adding, “We never forced our child to study or not to study. Many used to ask me to just complete her graduation and marry her off. But I wanted what my daughter wanted.”
A student of Tamil medium school, Sibiya Nadar initially found it difficult to cope with English. “Till VII grade, I used to be in Tamil medium. And expectedly, I ducked in my first English exams,” she said. But Ponraj motivated Sibiya to push her limits and she soon developed interest in English and caught up with the language.
Sibiya signed up for CA entrance since there were not many people clearing the final exams. “I started with CA only as a challenge because people said it was difficult to crack the finals. One in thousand people pass in the exams. I wanted to be that,” she said. Sibiya further said that there was added pressure of loans and jewellery mortgages. “There were times when I did not have the required books. But some people gave financial assistance that saw me through the rough patch,” she added.
Sibiya lives in Borivali with her sister and parents in an SRA building. She aims to pursue LLB in the coming months and wishes to go abroad for her MBA. “I will put an end to my father’s night shifts in less than two months. And I hope I have put an end to his dark days as well,” Sibiya beamed.