Indian Teen Who Earned Near Perfect Score on State Exams Hangs Herself

By Rev. Dr. Joseph D’souza for Christian Post

When Shanmugam Anitha hung herself in her home early this September, she had already accomplished the impossible.

The 17-year-old had recently obtained a near perfect score (1,176 out of 1,200) in her state board exams and was the only student in her district to get a perfect score in physics and math.

She was a remarkable student, whose academic excellence distinguished her above millions — perhaps even tens of millions — of students across India. But it was her story of overcoming incredible adversity that impacted me the most.

Anitha was the sole daughter of a Dalit day laborer from an inconspicuous village in Tamil Nadu, India. She grew up without a mother, and was raised by her grandmother in a cramped shack of a house shared with half-a-dozen other family members. The house lacked a working toilet and, for that matter, most of the basic essentials. Her four brothers struggled with finding stable employment, and her father’s meager wages were spread thin to put food on the table. School was the one thing Anitha loved, and she gladly walked barefoot to attend class.

Still, facing poverty wasn’t Anitha’s only problem. She also had to deal with the fact that she had been born a Dalit or “untouchable.”

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