In a country where many girls are still discouraged from going to school, Sushma Verma is having anything but a typical childhood.
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.
“They allowed me to do what I wanted to do,” Verma said in an interview, speaking her native language of Hindi. “I hope that other parents don’t impose their choices on their children.” (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)