[AI] Making it to MIT against odds

Kartik Sawhney sawhney.kartik at gmail.com
Wed Jun 16 09:25:27 EDT 2010


Thank you, but I have already got in touch with both of them. I would
like to interact with as many people as possible, and hence I desire
the No.

On 6/16/10, Vamshi G <gvamshiai at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Karthik,
>
> For taking sciences, you may contact L. Pavan, Mayank Sharma, who are on
> this very list.
>
> Regards,
> Vamshi G
> M: +91 9949349497
> R: +91 877 2243861
> Skype: gvamshi81
>
> www.retinaindia.org
> From darkness unto light
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: accessindia-bounces at accessindia.org.in
> [mailto:accessindia-bounces at accessindia.org.in] On Behalf Of Kartik Sawhney
> Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 5:19 PM
> To: accessindia at accessindia.org.in
> Subject: Re: [AI] Making it to MIT against odds
>
> This is Kartik. As is quite evident from my few previous mails, I want
> to take up PCM in class XI. However, I am currently facing many such
> hurdles. Can I get the contact No. of Srikant so that I can have a
> word with him. Your earliest response will be appreciated.
>
> On 6/16/10, Swasti Mathur <swastimathur at gmail.com> wrote:
>> hi
>> hats off to The Srikant. he is a source of inspiration to hundreds and
>> thousands of future students who want to opt for PCM but step back due
>> to pulling by the society and many other  circumstances acting like
>> non-avalibility of study material. really this boy is geneous.
>> may he climb the laddar of success throughout his life. waiting for a
>> chance to meet such a brilient guy! and exchange few words.
>> regards Swasti
>>
>> yogesh dubey wrote:
>>> Bolla Srikanth, a visually-challenged boy, is currently pursuing his
>>> Bachelor of Sciences at the varsity, says YOGENDRA KALAVALAPALLI
>>>
>>> - PHOTO: NAGARA GOPAL
>>>
>>> Winner: Bolla Srikanth in conversation with National Trust Chairperson
>>> Poonam Natarajan during the inaugural function of Abilities Mela 2010
>>> in Secunderabad.
>>>
>>>
>>> Bolla Srikanth was barely few years old when many in his community
>>> counselled his parents to abandon him. The pressure was heavy on his
>>> illiterate parents,
>>> a farmer father and housewife mother, but they never yielded. Had they
>>> heeded their advice, the world would have been minus one inspiring
>>> story today.
>>>
>>> >From a small village Sitaramapuram near Machlipatnam town in Krishna
>>> district, this visually-challenged boy has made it to the portals of
>>> the prestigious
>>> Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. The 18-year-old is
>>> currently pursuing his Bachelor of Sciences in Brain and Cognitive
>>> Science, Business Management
>>> and Computer Science at the varsity.
>>>
>>> "Though they are illiterate, both of them, they had strong will to get
>>> me educated. This inspired me," he says. Shortly after, about 13 years
>>> ago, an uncle
>>> of his enrolled him in Devnar School for the Blind in Hyderabad, and
>>> life took a different spin for Srikanth.
>>>
>>> "I didn't know anything when I joined school. I was like a rural
>>> introvert. I learned everything, I picked up English. I joined
>>> community service. Now,
>>> I have occupied a place in the society where people are respecting
>>> me," he says, "It has been a long journey."
>>>
>>> >From being a "rural introvert", Srikanth went on to secure 92 per cent
>>> in the Class 10 Board Examinations and was a two-time recipient of
>>> Pratibha Awards
>>> given by the Andhra Pradesh State government for students who excel in
>>> public examinations every year.
>>>
>>> He also received a citation for outstanding community service as Youth
>>> Leader in Lead India 2020 from former President APJ Abdul Kalam and
>>> was a national
>>> chess player playing against the likes of Koneru Humpy.
>>>
>>> Intermediate was next and he wanted to take up Maths, Physics,
>>> Chemistry (MPC) stream to be eligible to study engineering. But a
>>> disinclined officialdom
>>> was not encouraging. "When I visited the offices for the first time,
>>> they said get away from here. Even an IAS officer was not able to
>>> realise the potential
>>> of blind persons," he recollects.
>>>
>>> "After a lot of trouble," Srikanth finally managed to enrol himself
>>> for MPC stream at a private college, a good three months after the
>>> classes began. He
>>> went on to secure an aggregate percentage of 93 at the end of two years.
>>>
>>> Challenges persisted still. "When I wanted to prepare for IIT, one
>>> coaching centre told me straightaway I was not fit to join them."
>>> Another top institute
>>> in the country did not even bother to respond to his application. "I
>>> didn't even get my hall ticket. I was not even allowed to write AIEEE.
>>> But, I was
>>> not disturbed because I was focussed on my goal and I wanted to study
>>> Sciences."
>>>
>>> Guided by his mentors Swarnalatha, teacher at Devnar School for the
>>> Blind and G. Ravishankar, a software consultant in the US, Srikanth
>>> realised his ambition
>>> of studying at MIT. "Only 120 seats are open for international
>>> students for which students from 70 countries in the world fight," he
>>> says proudly of his
>>> admission that came with a US $49,000 scholarship.
>>>
>>> "My mentor Swarnalatha was like a backbone to me in whatever I did so
>>> far. She has worked harder than me." She was by his side throughout:
>>> fighting for
>>> him, managing his study expenses, recording material for him to study
>>> easily and even lodging him in her house during initial days of his
>>> Intermediate.
>>>
>>> Mr. Ravishankar, whom Srikanth met during an international conference
>>> at Indian School of Business, helped him apply to different
>>> universities abroad. "Because
>>> I was a special student, we had to fill up some special forms. He also
>>> worked really hard with me for six months. Even now he is in contact
>>> and helps me
>>> with whatever I want."
>>>
>>> Persons with disabilities, he says, suffer from lack of exposure and
>>> lack of opportunities. "You have to see where you stand in the
>>> society, not as a visually-challenged
>>> person but as a human being." He sings paeans about U.S. "The
>>> University is very helpful. They have so many resources. People don't
>>> show sympathy there.
>>> In fact they provide you opportunities." He has already finished two
>>> semesters at the university (scoring 5/5 GPA) and currently is
>>> interning with GE in
>>> Hyderabad.
>>>
>>> Srikanth is keen on entrepreneurship and plans to launch a software
>>> firm after his course where he wants to give opportunities to rural
>>> youth. "My life
>>> ambition is to become the president of India," he declares. Given the
>>> flak he has received so far and the grit with which he has overcome
>>> them all, don't
>>> dismiss him. Not yet, not so fast!
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
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