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Shoeshine boy excels
New Delhi, May 29 (Agencies):
Published on 30 May. 2010 12:23 AM IST
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He helps his father, a cobbler, mend shoes in his spare time while his mother stitches rags to support the family, but financial hardships have not stopped Abhishek Kumar Bhartiya from coming out with flying colours in the IIT entrance exam. Abhishek, who secured 154th rank in the SC category of IIT entrance test, now wants to propel his dreams by pursuing aerospace engineering at IIT-Kanpur here.His father earns Rs 60-70 daily and mother stitches old clothings to earn money. But “this has never held them back from facilitating our education,” Abhishek says, dedicating his success to his parents. Abhishek, who also tries to pitch in by polishing shoes at his father’s shop, has three young brothers and the family of six lives in a one room accommodation with no electricity.
“We have just one small room where six of us live and that too without electricity. So, he used to study under the lantern for five-six hours in the night,” says his father Rajendra Prasad. The family could not even think of providing coaching to Abhishek. “But by God’s grace, a teacher of a coaching institute helped him out,” he says. But even in the time of happiness, poverty haunts the family. “I am worried about the fees. From where can I manage the amount? This question is troubling my mind but even if I have to sell myself, I am ready for it,” Prasad said. With relatives flocking their house after hearing the news, the joyous father says he has not been able to open his shop since the IIT-JEE result came out yesterday.
“We are very happy. He is the first person in our family to be selected to the IITs,” says his uncle Manoj Kumar. Abhishek says he wants to support his siblings’ education and help them to get into prestigious institutes.

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