We have acknowledged a lot of legendary stories of underprivileged children who knocked out every difficulties on their way to achieve a great successful life ahead. One bright example is Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, who, out of poverty, used to sell newspapers in his early childhood to earn for his livelihood and studies. Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar couldn’t study in a small room due to the presence of his other fourteen siblings, so he used to sleep early and get up in the midnight to study when all others were fast asleep. Dr. Rajendra Prasad studied under the street lights, etc.
Here is a similar story of a child named Aamir Ahmad of fourth class. Aamir has won gold medal in the International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO) in 2017-2018.
It was a cold night. It was the wedding reception party of a friend. We had our fine dinner by 9 pm. Now it was time for the talks for the gathering of friends. We set a bonfire in front of the friend’s house. And the laughter began. We indulged in the entertainment of anecdotes and jokes around married life. Then a bicycle bell rings. We were blocking the road with our gathering. A little boy on a cycle with his younger littler sister on the back carriage of the bicycle. He wanted us to move so that he could go on his way.
My eyes fell on the boy. With a woolen cap on his head and a shirt with all buttons buttoned up till neck for it was cold out there, maybe he didn’t have a sweater. I recognized the boy. He was Aamir from my school. I called him out, “Aamir”. He replied, “yes, sir”. I approached him. His bicycle’s handle was laden with 10-12 one and two-litre bottles and a 3 year old sister on the back. Some 20-25 kilogram load. I asked him “where are you going in this cold night?” He replied, “I am out to sell milk, house to house.” I said “day after tomorrow you have level-2 exam of International Mathematics Olympiad”. He replied immediately, “Yes, sir. I have finished revising 7 chapters of the 14 from IMO practice book before leaving home and will finish the remaining 7 chapters after going back home before I sleep.”
I was stunned. I knew he was from an economically poor family but I didn’t know that he used to sell milk every morning and evening. I didn’t have any words to say. I stood there looking at him with a gasp. He kept looking at me if I had to tell something. I could say anything but okay bye. He wished ‘salaam’ and left to go about his work.
I was shaken from inside. I kept thinking how many such kids are struggling day in day out to make their dreams come true with all their sweat and blood, with no proper clothes to wear according to the weather, with no food to fill their stomachs two times a day but with courage to dream of reaching the stars.
Aamir is the eldest of his siblings. He tops in his class exams. Has already earned a gold medal in International Mathematics Olympiad. Tomorrow (11th Feb, 2017) he is going to Bishop Cotton School, Ranchi, to attempt level-2 of the IMO.
I only pray that this 10 year old Aamir becomes exemplary for kids of his age sucked up in Android culture and becomes a new Kalam for the country.
(Note: The original write-up(Hindi) is translated into English by Kashish Azeem and Adeel Ahmed)