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Scholarship winner Karisha Rajkumar gets a kiss from her parents Marsha and Vijay Rakumar.

Jesse Ramdeo

It is said that success is no accident, it takes hard work, perseverance, studying, learning and a love for whom you learn from.

That is why Karisha Rajkumar says she is indebted to her parents for the many lessons handed down to her, especially on sacrifice, which she credits for her recent academic achievement.

Last Thursday, the former business student of Vessigny Government Secondary School was left stunned when she learnt she had won an open scholarship for her outstanding performance at the cape examination.

Karisha’s feat also placed the southern school on the radar once more, eleven years after it had produced its last scholarship winner.

But beyond the accolades for excellence is a teenager from a fishing community located in Icacos, the southernmost point of the country, who thinks lightly of herself but deeply of those considered as her world.

“ I have always wanted to make my parents proud, not to be rich or anything but just to give them a better life so they won’t have to work so hard.”

Both Marsha and Vijay have always had one thing on their minds– to afford their daughters a brighter future, to this end, they would both toil incessantly.

When she is not labouring with short term jobs, Marsha would face the heat of the kitchen, making pholouries to sell along the rural roadside, every sale, a step towards realizing her daughter’s academic dreams which at times seemed agonisingly unattainable.

“Even for simple as lessons we couldn’t really afford it, we get help from family but it has been difficult.”

Vijay, a labourer attached to the Drainage Division, would oftentimes find himself on the brink of heartbreak.

He said, “It would hurt not being able to send her to UWI or anything because we short on funds you know.”

Despite their financial hardships, core values were critical in the Rajkumar’s household which also centred around god.

“We grew up in church and the best thing my parents could ever do for me was introduce me to god. By the time second year we were saying Psalm 20 and Psalm 23 by heart, we actually learn to read from the bible.” He said

But among the lessons learnt in her pursuit of academic excellence, her parent’s sacrifice has been the most valuable to the former Vessigny Secondary school business student.

It has never been a smooth academic road for Karisha, more than an hour from her Icacos home to Vessigny secondary school meant every second counted.

“I remember I would do my homework in school or lunchtime or free periods it didn’t matter. If I had to study I’d get up like 2 or 3 am and just go on to school one time after.”

There were days she was forced to shelter from showers while waiting on the bus or hop rides with other villagers just to reach school on time, an unblemished record she maintained until her departure.

While burning the midnight oil, Karisha’s flames were fuelled by one thing alone; repaying her parent’s unwavering sacrifices.

“This achievement I dedicate to my parents, and also the teachers and staff at Vessigny Secondary, as well as everyone here in Icacos.”

Karisha has now set her sights on furthering her studies in the field of accounting and is in the process of determining where she continues to follow not just her dreams but the ones forged in the hearts of her parents and as she enters another leg in her journey, one thing is certain, her parent’s resolute support summed up by her mother.

“ Whatever you do, I love you and I will always be there for you right.”