VISHAL KUMAR - VidyaGyan, 2018
Vishal was born in a village in UP. From there to where he is now, doing a B.Tech in electrical engineering at IIT Mumbai, seems a near-impossible journey, especially for a boy who hadn’t even heard of IIT till he was a teenager. Vidyagyan is rife with such stories, but some students shine even among that crowd.
His village school headmaster must have sensed that spark, because he filled in the Vidyagyan form without telling Vishal or his father. Vishal was all set to leave school after standard 5 to learn a trade and become a barber or a mechanic. Joining VidyaGyan changed everything. Says Vishal, ‘I think there can't be a better school than VidyaGyan in this whole world. The VG family never made us feel like that we were away from home. They provided every facility to make our education better. And they developed our emotional intelligence and helped us discover our life’s goals.’
In class, Vishal was an average student, sometimes even playing the fool. His family was going through a financial crisis, which was getting him down. He finally spoke to his class teacher about his problem. The teacher encouraged him to try out for the National Talent Search Examination scholarship. This was the turning point for him, for he won that scholarship, and since then, has never looked back.
Vishal was extremely motivated and supported by the VidyaGyan teachers who made a giant impression on him. He had never met teachers who were so selfless, who got satisfaction from their students’ successes in academics, sports or cultural activities, rather than any monetary gain. ‘ I owe everything to my faculty,’ he explains. ‘When I was in class 12, we were doing JEE exam for which we had to fill a form and pay the fees for the form ourselves. My friend and I went to one of our teachers for help. He not only filled our forms, he paid the fees and bought us preparation books, and didn’t take any money. And this was not unusual at all – every teacher in VidyaGyan was like this.’
Vishal has ambitious plans for the future. And like all students attached to the Shiv Nadar Foundation banner, he wants to give back to society. He wants to one day construct his own indigenous PC, and he also wants to start an NGO which will revolutionise education as we know it, build a library in every village, give homes to orphans and give employment to the very poor, and much more.
Vishal believes, ‘Education transforms life. It gives us an aim, faith, respect, and hope. The real importance of education is understood by people who can't afford it, because they know education is the only thing that can change their life. Only by learning and realising oneself and the world can we change our thought process. Because of Vidyagyan, I know I am going to change this world.’
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