Karnataka: Labourers’ daughter tops BSc nursing, says daily struggles pushed her to study hard | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: When Sonali Rathod, state topper in BSc nursing, walked to the stage to receive two gold medals from the President of India during the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences convocation, it was a proud moment for the gritty girl who fought the odds to taste success.
The daughter of construction labourers living in a small katcha house at Vele in Maharashtra, Sonali studied hard in the hope of earning a job to ensure a better life for her family. A student of Shri BM Patil Institute of Nursing Sciences, Vijayapura, she said her struggles and grim memories from childhood motivated her to slog.

“My father was a heavy drinker. Every night, he would fight with my mother. I used to wake up at 3am to study, by which time my family would have gone to sleep,” she recalled, adding: “Once my mother suffered 68% burns. We used to go to school with chapati and chilli powder in our lunch box then. The only aim was to study hard and earn a good job.” The family borrowed money to fund Sonali’s higher studies. “My mother even sold her mangalsutra,” said the girl, who has three other siblings, two of them younger than her.
The idea to pick nursing was suggested by her teacher. “I had no idea what to do after class 12. My teacher suggested nursing could be a good career choice. I too liked it as I wanted to help people in need,” said Sonali. “People tell me to go abroad for a job. But I want to work in my country. I want to gain work experience for a year before I pursue MSc nursing, preferably in the same college,” she added.
“I never wasted time and focused only on studies. My teachers supported me. I did not even have a mobile phone that could distract me. It was when classes went online that my parents got me one. There were network issues and I also had to take some help from You Tube lessons…My parents didn’t go to school. They do not understand gold medals. They know I have done well and are happy,” she said.

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Sagar Biswas

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