Sunshine story: Mumbai boy braved all odds to be a winner
Sandeep Gupta (21), whose father sold sandwiches during the day, drove a taxi at night, walked 3km every day to August Kranti Maidan to study for his CA final; he cleared the test in the first attempt
Sandeep Gupta and his family were all smiles when mid-day went to meet them yesterday. The 21-year-old recently found out he had cleared the final exam of the chartered accountancy (CA) course for which he had toiled hard day and night in a public garden.
Sandeep wants to get a job and give his father Omprakash some much-needed rest. Pics/Satyajit Desai
Sandeep secured 56% in his first attempt at an exam that is considered one of the toughest in the country; the topper got 68 per cent. Having finished Std X (he scored 83 per cent) in the Hindi-medium Marwari Vidyalaya and his HSC (scoring 73 per cent) from K C College, he joined the three-year course and had cleared Levels I and II at the first attempt as well.
Sandeep Gupta’s father sold sandwiches by day and drove a taxi by night to pay for the CA course
“The course is tough, but I believe nothing is impossible if you want to do it. I gave my best and ignored the notion that it is one of the toughest exams,” said the youth, who lives in a 100-sq ft house near St Stephen’s Church, Cumballa Hill, with his parents, three brothers and a sister.
Sandeep studied at August Kranti Maidan for three whole months
One of the brothers is elder and works in event management. In order to be mentally and physically free of any hindrances to his concentration, Sandeep would walk three kilometres to August Kranti Maidan to study. “I used to leave my home at 8 am in the morning, walk to the maidan, study there till night and return home after 12 am.
Sandeep lives with his parents, three brothers, and a sister in a 100-sq ft house
I did this for about three months,” he stated in a matter-of-fact manner. After sundown, Sandeep would study under the light of the garden lamp. Unlike others, he didn’t enrol in any tutorials or tuition classes for the competitive exam.
The youth didn’t stop gushing about how his father had worked hard to ensure his dream came true. 56-year-old Omprakash Gupta sells sandwiches by day near their house and, in the night, drives a taxi for extra income in order to pay for Sandeep’s course.
This would bring in Rs 500 every day, on an average, and a significant amount of this was spent on Sandeep’s studies. The amount would fluctuate depending on the day’s business. In all, Omprakash spent R1.5 lakh on the course. “I am thankful to my father, who did so much for me. Without any complaint, he worked day and night and took no rest. I owe him my life. He is very happy now,” Sandeep added.
And how! The proud father couldn’t hold back his tears when speaking of his son, who, he said, has brought him fame. “I am very happy that my hard work has borne fruit. I did what was required and my son has made me a celebrity among my family members and neighbours. Everybody now calls me Sandeep’s father, the father of the boy who cleared the CA (exam) in his first attempt,” a beaming Omprakash told mid-day.
Sandeep, however, has set his sights higher. After completing his compulsory articleship with a CA firm in the next two months, he plans to take up a full-time job, and start saving for a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course. “I want to do the course now but I don’t have the funds; it is expensive.
The first level will cost me Rs 80,000. I will save money after getting employed and go for the programme. I will give my father some rest,” he explained. Sandeep’s goal is to become a stock market analyst and the CFA course would help him get closer to this. Considering how determined he is, Dalal Street doesn’t seem very far away.