Thane : Maryam Siddiqui, the 12-year-old schoolgirl who in March topped a competition testing knowledge of the Bhagwad Gita, has decided to donate her cash rewards for the cause of girl education.

Siddiqui has been showered with felicitations, awards and honours from around the country.  However, the girl, hailing from a Mira Road town middle-class family, has decided to give away all the cash rewards for the education of poor girls.

“Though we are not financially well off, my daughter has made it her mission to work for the education of girls,” her father Asif Siddiqui, a journalist, told IANS here on Tuesday.

Maryam, a Class 6 student of Cosmopolitan High School in Mira Road, shot into the international limelight four months ago when she topped the Bhagwad Gita competition conducted by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness – ISKCON.  On June 2, she was felicitated by Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. And the girl surprised the gathering by offering a cheque of Rs 11,000 to the CM with a request to utilise it for the education of poor girls.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also was similarly stumped on June 6 when he honoured Maryam with a cheque of Rs 11 lakh.

“Maryam returned the cheque to the chief minister and offered two cheques of Rs 11,000 each to him, with a plea to use all the money for the noble cause through various schemes,” Asif added.

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