Once we had a boy whose father was a boat owner and imam of a local mosque and his mother was a housewife. He was the youngest of four brothers and one sister in his family.
By his early childhood, his family had become poor and he was left with no other option and sold newspapers to supplement his family’s income. In his school years, he had average grades but was described as a bright and hardworking student who had a strong desire to learn.
He spent hours on his studies, especially mathematics. After completing his graduation in physics in 1954, he moved to Madras in 1955 to study aerospace engineering at Madras Institute of Technology. He narrowly missed achieving his dream of becoming a fighter pilot, as he placed ninth in qualifiers, and only eight positions were available in the IAF.
The same boy later served as the 11th President of India. He won the 2002 presidential election with an electoral vote of 922,884, surpassing the 107,366 votes won by Lakshmi Sahgal. His term of service lasted from 25 July 2002 to 25 July 2007.
And this great name was none other than “Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam”!!
No adjectives are enough to highlight the exemplary contribution of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam to India’s space and defence programs. And no adjectives are enough to highlight the humility and the generosity of India’s Missile Man who has won every Indian’s heart.
He left behind an example to all the youth out there, to chase their dreams and not to sit back due to the obstacles.
“Dreams, is not what you see in sleep… It is that what does not let you sleep”- very well quoted by APJ Abdul Kalam.
Here’s yet another inspirational story after a slum boy from Mumbai, who has successfully paved his way towards “ISRO”.
This story belongs to a 25 year old boy “Prathamesh Hirve”. No doubt this path wasn’t easy for Prathamesh, living in a slum in Mumbai; his dreams didn’t seem to be smaller to him like any other ordinary boy of his age. There were also times when his neighbours saw him, sitting at midnight and studying under an oil lamp. It is common routine to the people in slums, finding a single time meal is a bone breaking task to them. But Prathamesh has gone beyond these mindsets and crossed obstacles in order to catch hold of his dreams.
It took him 10 years of hard work – of studying day and night, of not giving up in the face of failure, of fighting all odds and of believing that he would one day achieve his dream.
Drawback to an extent:
Prathamesh had studied in a Marathi-medium school until his 10th grade. English wasn’t a language he was very comfortable with. During the first two years of his diploma, he used to sit at the back of his class. He didn’t want his professors to ask him questions. He knew he couldn’t answer; not because he didn’t know it, but because he couldn’t communicate in the language he was expected to speak in.
And not that he sat back with his arms folded, in the second year when he spoke to his teacher about his language problem, he was asked to read and refer to the dictionary as much as possible. With perseverance and hard work, he got better at it. During his internships at L&T and Tata power, his mentors encouraged him to study further and that’s when he decided to pursue a degree from Smt Indira Gandhi College of Engineering in Navi Mumbai.
Prathamesh finally caught hold of his dream job:
After completing his degree course in 2014, he applied for a spot in UPSC but failed. Next, he applied to ISRO in 2017, but there too he couldn’t make it beyond the waiting list. He had a couple of job offers in hand, so, he took a job as an engineer. However, his sight was still set at the stars. In May 2017, he applied to ISRO once again, and guess what? Prathamesh Hirve was one out of the nine people selected among 16,000 applicants.
Once when his parents took him to a career counsellor, he was told that he was better off doing arts. It did upset him, but not enough for him to abandon his dream. He told his parents that he would become an engineer, no matter what and his parents believed him. In 2007, he was granted admission to Bhagubhai Mafatlal Polytechnic College for a diploma course in Electrical Engineering. As any other parents, Prathamesh had his parents as his backbone to go ahead with his dreams.
People like Prathamesh set an example to those who think twice to dream big. Limitations and obstacles are only for those who sit happily with what they have. And can only be in one’s mind and cannot stop him, if he has a strong will power and determination.