[AI] Making it to MIT against odds

aisha sahani mailtoaishasahani at gmail.com
Sun Jun 20 23:16:19 EDT 2010


very interesting, and inspiring too.

yes, i too would like to have the contact number or e-mail ID of this man.

do any of you having the same?

aisha sahani.


On 6/21/10, Amar Jain <amarjain2006 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.
>>
>>
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>
>
> 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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> the subject unsubscribe.
>
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