[AI] Making it to MIT against odds

Mukesh Sharma mrmukeshsharma at gmail.com
Wed Jun 16 10:28:15 EDT 2010


A sweet boy with 100% blindness! 

-----Original Message-----
From: accessindia-bounces at accessindia.org.in
[mailto:accessindia-bounces at accessindia.org.in] On Behalf Of Vamshi G
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 7:21 PM
To: accessindia at accessindia.org.in
Subject: Re: [AI] Making it to MIT against odds

Hi,

Are you a person with low vision or total blindness?
I know a few low vision people pursuing academics in sciences.  

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 6:55 PM
To: accessindia at accessindia.org.in
Subject: Re: [AI] Making it to MIT against odds

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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