They've carved a niche for themselves

They've carved a niche for themselves


They've carved a niche for themselves

Celebrating the spirit of sportsmanship, TiE awarded three gifted teenage girls for their achievements.

Kusum, 14-year-old, is a member of the all-girls football team representing Yuwa India. This team made waves when it was placed third among 10 teams playing for the Gasteiz Cup in Spain in July 2013. In 2014, Kusum and her team made history as the first Indian women's football team to compete in the USA.

Hailing from Hutup, a small village in Jharkhand, Kusum, was intrigued by the sport when she saw youngsters playing football in her village. “I wanted to be part of the team too,” says Kusum, who was recently awarded TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) Aspire Young Achiever’s Award. Three exceptional girls from different corners of the country were awarded for their remarkable achievements at a very young age. 

Kusum is the youngest among five siblings and is the naughtiest one. Her parents did not stop her from playing football but villagers did pass snide remarks. “They used to say, how can girls wear shorts. They should wear salwar suit. But it didn’t bother us much as my parents did not say anything to me,” says Kusum, expressing her desire to continue playing football. 

But Lucknow-based Sushma Verma has no interest in football. She is a child prodigy who achieved the title of the youngest Indian to pass the Class 10 at the age of seven, and made it to the Limca Book of Records. She became a graduate at age 13 and is currently pursuing her MSc in Microbiology. “I wanted to be a doctor but failed to crack competitive exams,” says the soft-spoken Sushma. “But I still have time,” she sounds optimistic.

At the age of five, she took admission in Class 9. “Schools were not keen to admit me. They took a qualifying test and I cleared it,” says Sushma confidently. Her parents realised that she was academically gifted when she recited the Ramayana at a local podium when she was just two years old. 

Daughter of a daily wage labourer and an illiterate mother, Sushma wants to pursue a PhD in Microbiology.  

Malavath Poorna, on the other hand, is a mountaineer, who recently climbed the tallest peak of the world, Mount Everest. “I don’t know whether I am the youngest to climb the peak. The result is still awaited from the Guinness World Records,” says Malavath.  

The 14-year-old achieved this feat on May 25, 2014 at the age of 13. Even more remarkable is the fact that her selection and training for this expedition were completed in only six months. A student of class 10 in a government-run residential school Malavath belongs to a Scheduled Tribe. Both her parents are agricultural labourers. “I want to be an IPS officer,” she says, her eyes bright with hope and dreams.