[AI] Making it to MIT against odds

Amar Jain amarjain2006 at gmail.com
Sun Jun 20 22:31:01 EDT 2010


head soft to everybody involved in this story. no words..
Do anyone of you know the contact information of this man?
Although I have nothing to do with science but its worth making contact with 
such intelligent people.
I openly say shame on indian institutes.
He has slapped these people.
Regards
Amar Jain.
--------------------------------------------------
From: "Renuka Warrier" <erenuka at gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2010 6:21 AM
To: "access india" <accessindia at accessindia.org.in>
Subject: [AI] Making it to MIT against odds

>
>
> Date:21/06/2010 URL: 
> http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/edu/2010/06/21/stories/2010062150460400.htm 
> _________________________________________________________________________________
> Link: Education Plus
> Making it to MIT against odds
>
> YOGENDRA KALAVALAPALLI
>
> Bolla Srikanth, a visually-challenged boy, is currently pursuing his 
> Bachelor of Sciences at the university
> 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 in Andhra Pradesh, 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 
> university.
>
> "Though they are illiterate, both of them had a 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 X Board Examinations and was a two-time recipient of Pratibha 
> Awards given by the Andhra Pradesh 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 the Maths, Physics, 
> Chemistry stream to be eligible to study engineering. But a disinclined 
> officialdom was not encouraging. "When I visited the offices for the first 
> time, they asked me to get away. 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 
> the 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 U.S., Srikanth realised 
> his ambition of studying at MIT. "Only 120 seats are open to international 
> students for which students from 70 countries in the world compete," 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.
>
>
> Voice your thoughts in the blog to discuss the Rights of persons with 
> disability bill at:
> http://www.accessindia.org.in/harish/blog.htm
>
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