Most of the high-paying jobs in India's $50bn information technology industry go to India's privileged elite.
But, with the help of her husband, one woman living in the slums in Visakhapatnam, India has managed to earn her university degree as well as a job at on of India's top IT companies.
Fatima, when she was 15 six years ago, her parents took her out of school and arranged her marriage putting an end to her dream of becoming an Engineer. She was married to Shaik Salary, who sells food in the streets and makes an average $2 a day and he is illiterate.
"When I said I wanted to be an engineer, my parents and others just dismissed my dreams," Fatima told Al Jazeera. "They said a girl from the slums could never get become an engineer or work for the big technology companies."
Since her family dismissed her dreams to become an engineer, she turned to her husband, who was very receptive to her ideas and encouraged her to study. But since, education is expensive for many especially those that live in the slums, they somehow managed and sacrificed by going hungry at times to pay for her books and university fees. She managed to attend a school and engineering college with their meager income.
Poverty and tradition still sees many girls in the slums drop out from school early either they couldn’t afford or marriage makes them not to go further in academics. Most of them end up being housewives, even though many of them are talented in their own way. Fatima’s neighbors tried to dissuade her from going to college and complained to Fatima’s mother that she should drop out of school, saying it is against the Muslim religion.
A charity organization heard about Fatima and Shaik’s plight, so they decided to offer her a soft loan to finance her engineering degree. Fatima worked hard and earned her engineering degree with honors.
Shaik is extremely happy about his wife’s progress and told Al Jazeera TV that it was their love for each other that had helped them achieve their goal.
"I am a poor illiterate man. I did not want her to be like me," Salary said. "Now that she has worked hard and achieved so much, people will look at us with respect."
Fatima is still helping her husband in running the Food kiosk in the evening, but soon she will be getting a high paid job in one of India’s premier information technology companies that will allow her to earn more than $600 dollars a month, which is a great salary for the economy in India. She and her husband will probably move out of the slums and move in to the city.
She will be a role model for other girls in the slums, glad she didn’t waste her talent and has fulfilled her dreams. Her husband should be credited for playing an active role in it.