Thursday, April 21, 2011

Auto-driver's techie son heads for IIM-Calcutta

Braving all odds, the son of a poor auto-rickshaw driver from Patna has made it to the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, (IIM-C). Anupam Kumar, a resident of Bhadra Ghat locality in Patna, scored a 97.09 percentile in the Common Admission Test (CAT) to qualify for the prestigious institution.

Anupam says he owes his success to his family. "Whatever I have achieved today is because of my parents," he said, adding, "God should give everybody parents like mine." He said his family had often found it difficult to make both ends meet while he was pursuing his goal. Anupam's father Srikrishna Jaiswal has been an auto-rickshaw driver for more than two-and-a-half decades in Patna.

"Our family income was quite low but my father never lost hope. He has been working hard for many years for the family," Anupam said. This was not the maiden success of Anupam, though. In 2005, he had cracked the joint entrance examination (JEE) for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) as a student of Super 30, a free coaching institute for underprivileged children run by a young mathematician Anand Kumar.

He subsequently completed his first year of the M Sc. integrated course in Physics at IIT-Kharagpur but left it to join Indian School of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad. He has since been pursuing a five-year dual course there in mining engineering with MBA. Anupam's father Jaiswal has been toiling hard for years to fulfill the dreams of his children. He leaves every day at 9 a.m. and returns home as late as 11 p.m., so that he could earn sufficient money to help his three children pursue their dreams.

Hardly surprising then, his eldest son Anupam's success has brought cheers to his family. "God has answered our prayers," Anupam's mother Sudha Devi, a housewife, said, adding "When my son called up to say he has been selected for IIM-C, our joy knew no bounds."

After doing his matriculation from a private school and intermediate from the Hindi medium Guru Gobind Singh College at Patna Sahib in first division, Anupam focused on making it to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). But the road to success was not easy because of resource crunch. Anupam said he started giving tuitions to children to supplement the income of his family. "I used to earn Rs. 1,000-1,200 by giving tuition to the students of classes VI and VII. At times, I had doubts whether I would be able to fulfill my dreams. I also thought of becoming a teacher at a coaching institute at one point of time," the IIT protege said. Anupam had disappointment in store when he failed to qualify in his first attempt at IIT-JEE in 2004. But he got admission in Super 30 as one of the 30 students and went on to crack the IIT-JEE the next year.

Recalling his student, Anand said he was pleased to know that he had made it to the IIM-C. "He was a very talented and hard working boy," the founder of Super 30 said. "I am sure he will go far in his career." Anupam's success has also inspired his younger brother Abhishek and sister Anamika to pursue careers in engineering.

Notwithstanding Anupam's success, his father Jaiswal does not intend to stop driving his autorickshaw on the roads of Patna. When Anupam informed his father about his latest success, Jaiswal told him to keep focus on his studies. He would keep running the auto-rickshaw for another two years before thinking of retirement, his father said.

Source: Mail Today, April 21, 2011

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