[AI] Making it to MIT against odds

Kartik Sawhney sawhney.kartik at gmail.com
Thu Jun 17 08:02:02 EDT 2010


Sure Sir. Thank you so much.

On 6/17/10, Subramani L <lsubramani at deccanherald.co.in> wrote:
> If you can wait I may be able to provide it to you in a day or two. I
> have asked a contact in GE to source it out.
>
> Subramani
>
>
>
> -----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 10:52 PM
> To: mrmukeshsharma at gmail.com; accessindia at accessindia.org.in
> Subject: Re: [AI] Making it to MIT against odds
>
> Once again, kindly provide contact details of Srikanth if available.
>
> On 6/16/10, Mukesh Sharma <mrmukeshsharma at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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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