Mumbai: Daughter of a
migrant Tamilian, an autorickshaw driver here and living in a
small tenement, Prema Jayakumar is now on top of the world, having
topped the nationwide chartered accountancy (CA) exams.
Since the exam result was announced, the family has been receiving
phone calls from the media, top Indian and foreign companies eager
to hire the genius from Malad suburb in north Mumbai.
The 24-year old Prema's achievement with 607/800 marks came with a
bonus with her younger brother Dhanraj Jayakumar, 22, also
clearing the CA exams simultaneously, the results of which were
announced Jan 21.
The 300-sq feet tenement in which the family lives is in a
congested, noisy neighbourhood.
Speaking to the hordes of media-persons thronging the family home
the past couple of days, Prema acknowledged that her father
Jayakumar Perumal's income was around Rs.15,000 per month, barely
sufficient to sustain the family. Perumal hails from Tamil Nadu.
Prema's mother Lingammal also worked in a small private company to
supplement the household income for some years.
"But, my parents never restrained us from studies because of
monetary issues. My mother stopped working when we (the
brother-sister duo) started doing our articleship (CA internship)
and earned around Rs.12,000 per month," Prema said, holding
Lingammal's hand as her eyes moistened.
"Now, I want my father to take rest. He really deserves it," Prema
declared, adding that she and her brother planned to take up jobs
soon and take over the family's responsibilities.
Prema is no stranger to academic achievements and accolades, which
started coming her way early in her academic life.
At her school and later the Nagindas Khandwala College, Malad, she
was granted nominal scholarships which helped cover her
Later, at the CA coaching institute, she got a scholarship of
Rs.40,000, solving the family's acute financial problem.
On the other hand, Dhanraj chose not to burden his elder sister
and worked in a call centre to supplement his income, which went
towards his educational expenses.
Prema proved her worth for every scholarship and in 2008 stood
second in the B.Com. examinations of the University of Mumbai,
followed by a good performance in her post-graduation.
In November 2012, the duo appeared for the CA finals. While Prema
created history, younger brother Dhanraj guided throughout by her
also cleared the tough exams at the first attempt, making their