13-year-old Indian girl begins microbiology master’s

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LUCKNOW, India — A 13-year-old girl is defying educational norms in India and pursuing a master’s degree in microbiology after her father sold his land to pay for her tuition.

Sushma Verma says she was able to finish high school at 7 and undergraduate studies at 13 only with the sacrifices of her uneducated parents.

They live with her three younger siblings in a cramped room in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state, and live off her father’s daily wage of up to 200 rupees (less than $3.50) for construction work.

Her father sold 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of land for 25,000 rupees (about $400) to cover some of her school fees. The rest will come from a charity.

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