No dream is big, if you really chase it purposefully and passionately – Three Inspiring stories from India’s hinterland!

While the whole world is enjoying the summer vacations in the months of May and June, it is usually a testing time for the youth passing out of class XII – the tension of admissions – which college, which course? It certainly happens to all those that have not yet zeroed on what they want to do in life!

When I look at the chaos the DU admissions are in, I feel even worse for these youngsters and their families! But there are a few from this class of 2014, who by now have created headlines and have grabbed their coveted badge for life. One such badge, in Indian context is an entry into IIT!

Purpose, Passion, Perseverance

Purpose, Passion, Perseverance

In the last one week I came across three inspiring stories about youngsters, who despite all odds, are on the path to glory; Incidentally there are two sets of twins and also a boy who is considered too young to even know what IIT is all about. Yes, they have made it to the hallooed portals!

—————

Jalandhar : Sumit and Amit, had secured 809th and 2014th All India ranks respectively this year in IIT-JEE, and they had secured 1800 and 1600 ranks last year, but could not join the prestigious institution as they failed to arrange the Rs. 80,000 deposit required towards admission.

Several readers have come forward to help the twin brothers who cracked the prestigious IIT-JEE exam twice in a row but failed to finance their college education.

Read the full story here –
http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/city-others/helping-hands-for-the-poor-brothers-who-cracked-iit-jee-twice/

———————

Mumbai : With a collective income of around Rs 17,000 per month and a cramped 150 square foot room in Bhiwandi’s slums for their home, life for the Yadav family has been tough. But it looks all set to change. Their 18-year-old twins — Ram and Shyam Yadav — have cleared the coveted IIT-JEE exam with 267 and 1,816 ranks respectively in the OBC section. With a brother who earns Rs 9,000/- supporting his father to help these youngsters realize their dreams, they chose to make it happen with the dint of their hard work in the last two years!

The full story here –
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/two-iit-from-a-150-sq-ft-room-in-bhiwandi/

—————————–

Patna: A 14-year-old from Bihar’s Rohtas district has cracked this year’s prestigious Indian Institute of Technology-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE).

Shivanand, the son of a farmer, passed his class 12 exam this year with 93.4 percent, and got special permission to sit for the IIT-JEE, the results of which were declared last week. He secured 2,587 rank.

The full story :
http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/farmer-s-son-14-years-old-cracks-iit-jee-544844

Each of these youngsters prove that – No dream is big, if you really chase it purposefully and passionately.

Advertisements

Unsung Heroes : Raju, The Rickshawalla of Benaras

forwarded by a friend to Rama Ananth who posted it on Facebook. I stumbled upon it and found fascinating, hence posted here. Thanks Rama, thanks to her friend..
It is a great inspirational interaction and shows how not to go by looks or by the work one is engaged in. There is a great deal of learning in engaging and interacting with every individual.  It is like my series on unsung heroes, with whom my interactions have been yielding immense insights.
Enjoy reading this…
————————————————————————–

There were two rickshaw-walas vying for our business when we wanted to go to Sankat-Mochan temple in Benaras. I agreed to go with the one who was about 20, seemed like a regular young rickshaw-wala, but I found something interesting about this fellow in his eyes. I was not proved wrong.

He wanted Rs 50, we said Rs 30. We settled for 40.

Here are the highlights of the conversation that ensued while he rode the rickshaw:

“aap kahan se aaye hain”

“Delhi”

“bijness ya kaam karte hain?”

“naukri karte hain”

“kismein”

“internet mein”

“humara bhi kuch wahin kaam lagwa do”

I just chuckled

“main try kar raha hoon engineering padhne kee. achchi naukri lag jaayegi tab”

“achcha?” I asked a little interested

“haan, delhi mein Guru Gobind Singh Indraprashta University mein engineering ke liye apply kara hai. achchi hai woh university”

“haan, achchi hai”, I agreed.

“haan, kal hee maine JEE bhi diya”

“JEE matlab, IIT ka?”

“haan, Joint Entrance Examination” he pronounced it perfectly just to make it clear to me what JEE stood for. “mushkil hota hai exam”

“haan, 2 saal toh log padhte hee hain uske liye, asaan nahin hai” I carried on the conversation

“Delhi mein Akaash coaching institute hain na?”

“haan, hai”

“aapne kya padhai kari?”

“main engineer hoon, aur phir mba bhi kiya”

“kahan se engineer?”

“IIT delhi se”

He swung back, surprised, a little delighted, and smiled. “Ok, aapke liye Rs 30”

Swati and I laughed

Swati asked “padhai kab karte they IIT ke liye”

“bas, rickshaw chalaane ke baad raat mein”. Then he added “kismein engineering kari aapne?”

“Chemical”

“toh aapki chemistry toh badi strong hogi”

“nahin, aisa nahin hai”

He continued “yeh bataiye….jab Mendeleev ne Periodic Table banaya tha tab kitne elements they usmein?”

Now it was my turn to get surprised. He was quizzing me. I said “shayad 70-80”

“no, 63” he said sharply. “kaunse element kee electronegativity highest hai?”

Swati was laughing, and I didnt try too hard and said “pata nahin”

“Flourine”, he said confidently. Without a break he asked,”kaunse element kee electron affinity highest hoti hai?”

Now I was laughing too and said “nahin pata”

“Chlorine. toh aapka kaunsa subject strong tha?” clearly having proven that my chemistry wasnt a strong point

“Physics”, I said

“achha, Newton’s second law of motion kya hai”

I knew this one I thought, “F=ma” I said

“Physics is not about formula, it is understanding concept!”  he reprimanded me in near perfect english. “Tell me in statement”

I was shocked. Swati continued to laugh.

I said “ok, Newtons second law, er….was….”

” ‘was’ nahin, ‘is’!Second law abhi bhi hai!” he snapped at my use of ‘was’

Surely, my physics wasnt impressing him either. “yaad nahin, I said”

“Force on an object is directly proportional to the mass of the object and the acceleration of the object”, he said it in near perfect english. “aapne mtech nahin kiya?”

“nahin, mba kiya”

“mba waale toh sirf paisa kamana chahte hain, kaam nahin karte”

“nahin, aisa nahin hai, paisa kamaane ke liye kaam karna padta hai”

He said “arrey, rehene do”  or some words to that effect. He didnt think too highly of me apparently anymore.

In a minute we reached our destination. We got off and I told him that he must and should definitely study more, and that I think he is sharp as hell. He took only Rs 30, smiled and began to leave. I got my camera out and said “Raju, ek photo leta hoon tumhari”. He waved me off, dismissed the idea and rode off before I could say anything more….leaving me feeling high and dry like a spurned lover.

Damn, what a ride that was! India is changing, and changing fast.

The smart Rickshaw wala. This picture, I found in the website: Impressions of India. I really liked this picture for it suited the main character in the story.

A wonderful fortnight of Pushing Boundaries

I always enjoyed being with the children and youth as these experiences always challenged me to push my own boundaries of enthusiasm, agility, fitness, ambition, dare-devilry, creativity… The last fortnight has been an exciting one in all these respects and learning has been immense, mostly reiteration of things known and heard before.

I was about to take off from my serious regular work schedule to pursue my other serious avocations – SPICMACAY and SRISTI/NIF – attending and contributing to annual SPICMACAY annual convention at Trivandrum and half-yearly engagement with the innovative citizens of this nation through Shodhyatra of SRISTI and NIF that was held this time at Dahod in Gujarat. As the challenge of the admission season at IWSB made me abort these ‘pilgrimages’, I was a little disappointed for, these important events on the calendar give me an opportunity to work with the brethren who are actively contributing in the spaces of culture, innovation and entrepreneurship that impacts our nation in a small yet sure way. But this disappointment was short lived, as the interactions with the youth more than compensated for my loss.



Assured or Confused at eighteen?

Class twelve results of various boards were declared across the country last fortnight. I happened to engage two sets of students from this lot during this fortnight – an assured set and a confused one.

In the first category, are those students for whom the board results are of little consequence. They along with their parents have been planning out their careers for the last couple of years and also executed their plans really well. Most of them got calls from IITs, National Law Schools, NIFTs etc.

The second category has significant numbers that do not have any clue what they really want to pursue in life. I experience that year after year, more and more parents getting really worried about what their ward would pursue after class twelve only after the board results arrive. Many of these children with excellent percentages (!!) in their board exam still fail to find a place in a course of their liking or the college of their choice. Why do they fail to? Have they woken up late? What a parent, a teacher or a school could have done to make their lives better? I shall talk about my sessions with the second category first.

On introspection, I recall my childhood when my parents did not ever show the anxiety of where I or my siblings would study ahead. I hardly remember parents visiting our schools. Were they indifferent? No, they were highly involved in a different way. Hailing from an economically humble family, yes, their motivational interactions with us had sprinklings of stories of inspiring personalities elevating us to think about pursuing a dream path. ‘Hardwork was the only way for a rewarding life ahead,’ that was clearly conveyed. ‘Do what you are passionate about and be passionate about whatever you do,’ was the message I got. My father’s words “Karmanye-vadhikaraste-maaphaleshu-kadhachana (The fruits that we pluck depend on the efforts we put in),’ still keeps ringing in my head. Never ever salaries and lifestyles were discussed. It was each individual’s aspirations and possible opportunities that lie in front of him or her that we passionately pursued. Believing in oneself has been the mool-mantra, followed by planning and uncompromising execution.

Somewhere along the line in the last two decades, marks have become be all and end all of education for most parents, teachers and schools, exceptions do exist. Parents and teachers take pride in boasting only about the child’s marks. Are marks directly related to the growing capability? Pursuit of learning and individual growth has taken a back seat. Awareness of self and then believing in the self which is the key to success is alien. I can see the inability of a child or a parent to face failure a direct result of this.

So, the last fortnight when I set out to interact with youth who are stepping out of their cocooned homes and schools and who are clueless about what is in store for them now, my main agenda was to make them see within, identify their capabilities, realize that each one has immense power to change their own future, that failures are temporary and are great sources for us to learn to succeed in life.

This mission took me from one classroom to another, one education centre to other, bringing me face to face with a couple of thousand youngsters. There were many eager learners, most of who were reluctant and recalcitrant to start with. The rebel at eighteen, he or she, wants to challenge. Friendliness, warmth, interactivity, sharing observations and learnings from personal life with glimpses into lives of a few fellow extraordinary human beings were real eye-openers for them. The focus was on ‘Believing in self and steadfastness in execution.’ By the end of every interaction I found many determined souls, including me (I get energy by experiencing the responses). Their responses have been amazing. I got to hear that no one has really spoken to them this language.

What is our role as mentors?

Is a class all about teaching a subject or just solving a problem? I am sure some of the aspirants inside a class too would definitely break their own barriers and create their own story, if each one of us as a mentor, constantly, in every session, help them think big, instill the belief in themselves and make them push their boundaries. I do not see this role to be any different even for a parent, in every interaction. This is what I learnt from my parents. We have such a wonderful youth with immense capabilities that can change the world, it is our responsibility to facilitate them realize their capabilities, in the process our own. Money, Comfortable life will definitely follow, as they are byproducts of our pursuit and accomplishment of the goal. If the passion continues, higher wants – POWER and FAME, too will be at their doors!!

The Assured Ones!

Talking of the pursuit of goals and accomplishment, I also had the opportunity of addressing this focused bunch in Mumbai on June 7th, on the occasion of the IITJEE achiever’s felicitation. The hall was full to the brim with IITJEE 09 toppers and their families, their seniors who are at IITs now, were there too to share their experiences inside IIT, and also IIT aspirants and their families who were there to hear and interact with the successful candidates.

It is heartening to see the bunch of 250+ succeeding at the JEE from the portals of Career Laucher / ARC this year. Their stories have been that of extraordinary perseverance by ordinary human beings. One who scored 58% in class 10 but getting a rank of 603 at JEE, those from government schools and central schools making it to the ranks, making their schools and principals very proud. A few of the principals were there in the audience to celebrate the success of their own wards.

The felicitation of achievers by their untiring mentors, the lively interaction between the achievers and aspirants and also brilliant performance on stage by a few aspirants with their guitars and vocals went on to show that, one can be good in more than one space if one really wants to. I really enjoyed addressing this august gathering, all charged up by the occasion and performances that preceded my address.

All in all it was an exciting fortnight of pushing boundaries. I shall narrate another such experience of this fortnight in the next issue.

sreeni@careerlauncher.com

%d bloggers like this: