Tamilnadu girl gets ticket to NASA, sells cashews to meet expenses of family

indica News Bureau-

A class 11 government school student is winning internet over her success.  K Jayalakshmi is all set to visit National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in May next year, after she won an online competition.  But the reward has come with a financial challenge and the student has approached the district collector to help her out.

She got this chance after winning an online competition conducted by Go4Guru. Jayalakshmi studies in Tamil medium school in Adanakottai. She is the sole breadwinner of her family and has to take care of her mentally challenged mother and younger brother. She takes tuition classes for Class 8 and 9 students, besides selling cashews to make ends meet, reported The Indian Express.

Being a bright student, Jayalakshmi has also won numerous scholarships such as the National Means Cum-Merit Scholarship. She however, came to know of the online contest by chance.

“When I was practicing for a carrom match, I saw a newspaper lying beside the board. It had a story about Dhaanya Thasnem, who won a chance to go to NASA last year. I was intrigued and immediately went home and registered for the exam,” she said.

After she won a chance to visist NASA, she realized that travel expenses for the round trip will cost her Rs 1.69 lakh. Hailing from a humble background, she sought help from the district collector to help her meet the travel expenses. Jayalakshmi wishes to inspire other students of government schools to reach for the stars.

“My father lives separately and sends money once a while. My teachers and students pitched in to help me get a passport. The passport officers also offered me Rs 500. I have requested the Collector to help me with expenses,” said Jayalakshmi.

Drawing inspiration from APJ Abdul Kalam, the class 11 student says she wishes to be a astrophysicist and wants to make a rocket.

Jayalakshmi said, ” APJ Abdul Kalam is one of my inspirations. As I studied more about space, my interest increased .I want to make a rocket-like Abdul Kalam. No one from a government school has won this trip. I want to inspire government school students. If I can do it, so can they,” she said, making her school principal and teachers proud.

Beaming with pride, her school principal said, “She is a very talented girl and has been winning several competitions. The sky is the limit for her.”

The class 11 student is one of the select few who will be getting a full tour of NASA and an opportunity to interact with astronauts. The winners will also be taken to nearby tourist attractions like Disney World for five days.

Jayalakshmi has also won numerous scholarships such as the National Means Cum-Merit Scholarship. However, the trip to NASA poses a challenge. Travel expenses are likely to be around Rs 1.69 lakh. Jayalakshmi has sought help from the district Collector to meet her travel expenses.

“My father lives separately and sends money once a while. My teachers and students pitched in to help me get a passport. The passport officers also offered me Rs 500. I have requested the Collector to help me with expenses,” said Jayalakshmi.

 

Tough competition

Jayalakshmi studies in Tamil medium school. She had taken English coaching classes for a month. She is a science student at the government high school in Adanakottai. It was by chance she came to know of the competition conducted by Go4Guru. “APJ Abdul Kalam is one of my inspirations. As I studied more about space, my interest increased,” she said.

“When I was practicing for a carrom match, I saw a newspaper lying beside the board. It had a story about Dhaanya Thasnem, who won a chance to go to NASA last year. I was intrigued and immediately went home and registered for the exam,” she added.

Jayalakshmi is one of the select few who will be getting a full tour of NASA and an opportunity to interact with astronauts.

The winners will also be taken to nearby tourist attractions like Disney World for five days.

“I hope to inspire others from government schools and the first from government school,” Jayalakshmi said, “I want to make a rocket-like Abdul Kalam. No one from a government school has won this trip. I want to inspire government school students. If I can do it, so can they,” she said, making her school principal and teachers proud.

The beaming principal said, “She is a very talented girl and has been winning several competitions. The sky is the limit for her.”