[AI] Making it to MIT against odds

Kartik Sawhney sawhney.kartik at gmail.com
Fri Jun 18 02:33:59 EDT 2010


This is for the info of all. While searching on MIT online
directories, I managed to get the official MIT mail of Bolla which is
bolla at MIT.EDU. Any one who wants to get in touch with him may do so.

-Kartik

On 6/17/10, Kartik Sawhney <sawhney.kartik at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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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