Shalini worked as a maid in some six homes and while preparing for the exams she also looked after an ailing father, bed-ridden since falling from a building over a decade ago, and her younger brother who is undergoing treatment at a hospital for blood cancer. Her mother is the only other earning member and also works as a domestic help in a dozen homes.
Shalini studied in the Tamil medium then switched over to English in class 10. She wrote the PUC exams in English.
Shalini now wants to graduate in electronics and communications and become a software engineer in an Indian IT company or a multi-national tech hub.