Sharif Abdul Samad Khan, an auto driver from Mumbai has led a humble life. The father of five had to drop out of school when he was a child due to financial problems and start working to help out his family. And as an adult, he has made sure that all his children attend school while he puts a roof over their heads. This year, one of his four daughters will be appearing for the upcoming HSC exams.
Sharif’s story may not be different from millions of families across the country. Except, at 41, this extraordinary man is also going to be taking the SSC exams (class 10 board exams).
Image for representation. Image source: Wikimedia
Despite having lived a life informed by hardships, Sharif believes that when it comes to learning, there really is no limit. Having put emphasis on education with his own family, he realised that he too could follow his dreams once he joined the Mumbai Auto-Rickshaw Taxi Men’s Union.
Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, Sharif says that working on various social causes along with the union was the encouragement he himself needed. He says, “We do a lot of social work and I realised that if you want to connect with more people, your education does matter. Because understanding of issues and skills to handle the situation improves with good education. I discussed this with my family and we decided to fill the exam form. I want to tell my community that with education we can change our future.”
Now he will be taking the examination as an external candidate in the exams conducted by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education.
From being a child who could no longer pursue further studies to selling pav and to becoming an inspiration to his community, he credits his daughters for instilling confidence in himself. They have also helped him study for his exams, especially Rukhsar who is taking her class 12 board exams. She notes that once she’s done with her own exams, she will help her father further prepare.
The Khan family is teaching the world an important lesson in never giving up. And it’s a lesson worth hailing.