Odds? Fikir not;
Himalayan peak is yours

BJ Mirror Correspondent

Physical disability and economic poverty! These two curses are sufficient to nip any career in the bud. But, Gaurav Kumar’s determination dissolved all odds. He is victorious. He has won a berth in the prestigious IIT, with 204th position in the general quota and 27th in the other backward castes (OBC) or mahadalit category. He has made himself a real Gaurav (pride) of the society and of course, his family.

His may not be a rag-to-riches story but certainly is a ‘failure-to-success’ tale. Now he is a beckon light for many, who baulk before the social curse. The turning point in his life came when Gaurav, as a class X student, fared badly in Science Olympiad and his father ‘rebuked’ him. “Even Rs 30 needed to buy an entrance form for the National Talent Scholarship examination was a luxury for us. That day I vowed to prove myself”, a beaming Gaurav recalled.

This failure laid the corner stone of his success. Gaurav borrowed the money for the scholarship form and went on to do well in the test. He also came second in the Science Olympiad the next year. “As promised, mission IIT is accomplished”, said he and attributed his success to his parents, who have struggled to make ends meet, Chinmaya School, his alma mater and the institute that coached him to success, free of cost.

Gaurav wants to opt for electronics and telecommunications at IIT, Kharagpur and then go on to join Indian Statistical Institute (ISI). When asked as to what he would do with his first salary, 17-year old Gaurav’s tears flowed freely. “I will buy a sari for my mother. She prayed every night for my doing well in my studies, and today her dream has come true”, said the teenager. His mother stitched clothes and father gave private tuitions to run the household.

The Bokaro steel city hero frankly admitted that he had never seen any city other than the one he lives in and Ranchi in Jharkhand. He has never travelled in a reserved bogie of a train nor has ever seen any airport till date.

Gaurav recalled that he faced agonising teasing from his classmates as a child for his physical disability, but his school recognised his talent and provided him scholarship and free books. “I used to think I am the ugliest person in the world. I had no money but my only key to success was that I was good in studies. I knew I had to get into IIT, and I have done it today”, said the achiever. His dream is to “help those who want to study but have no resources”.

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