What a diamond of a mind she must have - finishing high school at age 7, pursuing a graduate degree at 13. Hard to even imagine.
In a country where many girls are still discouraged from going to school, Sushma Verma is having anything but a typical childhood.It's a whole family of go-getters, it seems:
The 13-year-old girl from a poor family in north India has enrolled in a master's degree in microbiology, after her father sold his land to pay for some of his daughter's tuition in the hope of catapulting her into India's growing middle class.
Verma finished high school at 7 and earned an undergraduate degree at age 13 — milestones she said were possible only with the sacrifices and encouragement of her uneducated and impoverished parents.
Sushma — a skinny, poised girl with shoulder-length hair — is not the first high-achiever in her family. Her older brother graduated from high school at 9, and in 2007 became one of India's youngest computer science graduates at 14.Source: ABC News/Associated Press
Whenever I read stories like this, it makes me wonder about nations where fully half the population, women, are kept downtrodden, persecuted, abused and uneducated.
We simply cannot afford to jettison half of humanity's imagination, intelligence, and creativity. No nation can afford to do that, and they never could.
How many women over the centuries have lived and died, who, if allowed to meet their potential, would have become the inventors of lifesaving medicines, the discoverers of new physical laws, creators of new technologies, or effective political leaders who brought their nations as far as they could go?
It boggles my mind, the wasted potential in this world, and how long it's been going on.
Where would we be now if all had been given equal opportunity from the start? Colonies on Mars and the Moon? Free of Cancer? A less cruel and exploitative economic regime ruling the world?