[AI] Making it to MIT against odds

Taha Haaziq tahahaaziq at gmail.com
Sun Jun 20 23:41:21 EDT 2010


hey this is excellent!
this really shows that WHERE THERE IS A WILL THERE IS SURELY A WAY!!!!
hats off to Shrikanth!
pls pass me his contact details too..
i will be greatful.
regards.


On 6/21/10, aisha sahani <mailtoaishasahani at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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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>>
>>
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Taha Haaziq
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