Mumbai girl Ashma Salim, who resides with her family on a footpath, has scored 40 per cent in her SSC (Secondary School Certificate) board exams declared on Wednesday.
Now, Salim wants to pursue further education in the field of Arts and support her family once she completes her education. "Right now, my only goal is to get admission in a college where the fees will be minimum so I can continue my studies. My family does not have a fixed source of income. My father earns through some petty jobs (like selling lemon water on a handcart) and that's how we make ends meet. However, the lockdown affected our income."
Salim lives with her father, mother and a younger brother who is studying in Standard 7. They all stay on the footpath near Mumbai's Press Club. At night, when the shops at Dadabhai Naoroji Road (a lane having heritage buildings opposite Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj railway station) shut, they sleep there,” said Salim.
Expressing his happiness, her father Abdul said, "My only desire is that my children should not live their lives like I did. I strongly believe education will give them better prospects, which I could not get due to lack of education." Abdul had a small shutment at Mumbai's Press Club near Azad Maidan. However, it was demolished by BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in 2015 and his family was forced to live on the footpath. "I cannot afford rent. I hardly earn and manage to buy food for my family," he added.