(Electrical Engineering) MGL Unnati – Thane (2013-14)
The French theologian and philosopher Albert Schweitzer once said: “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” This axiom by the philosopher has found meaning in the living example of Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL). For MGL, service to society is an integral part of its business and it is demonstrated through series of CSR programmes that it runs. However, MGL is always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to help the underprivileged section of the society. Therefore, in quest of this spirit, this Company thought of extending a helping hand to underprivileged students of Mumbai and nearby areas who have the capability to compete in IIT/NIT but do not have the means to pay the costly private coaching institutes. Thus MGL tied up with CSRL Delhi, which operates Abhayanand Super 30 Programme all over India to select 10 students from Maharashtra and preferably children of auto/taxi operators, public transport and bus drivers under its project MGL UNNATI. Being the first year, it was hard to enrol such students who could compete in IIT but somehow MGL in collaboration with CSRL selected 10 students on the basis of results of written test and interview.
After a rigorous coaching of 9-10 months, these 10 students appeared for the entrance exam. The results of this first batch of 10 students was heartening and encouraging for MGL. Out of 10 students 5 students qualified in IIT Mains and 3 out of 5 students competed in IIT Advance. 3 out of the 5 students got admission into IIT and NIT and rest of the batch was also placed in reputed Engineering colleges.
But what was most delightful was just not the quantitative success but the stories of students whose life is on the threshold of radical transformation. Going ahead, MGL inducted 20 students for the coaching in this financial year (2014-15) and looks forward to increasing the number of students in future. Amidst many transformed lives from the underprivileged section, Amol Mejari, a farmer’s son, is basking in the sun of hope and is currently pursuing his degree in Electrical at IIT, BHU.
Amol Mejari – IIT BHU (Electrical Engineering) MGL Unnati – Thane (2013-14)
I hail from a small village near Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. My father is a small farmer and mother a housewife. Life was moving on a normal course till I reached 4th standard. We are three siblings and my father was the sole bread earner for the entire family of 5. Having a background of financial constrains, my family thought if I could get through Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) on a scholarship – which provides free residential education to students, it could turn many things for me, as my family didn’t see any future for me while I was studying at the village school. However, I could not make it to JNV in the entrance as my name didn’t appear in the first list. Disappointed though, I started afresh at my village school. But, my life’s events took turn and in September I got to know that I have secured a seat at JNV.
Having left home for the first time, JNV was a new yet strange experience for me. However, friends from my old school made me familiar with the environment and hostel rules at JNV. Henceforth my family’s financial worry for my education came to an end. From 5th till 12th, my experience at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya is what I cherish till date. The education system at the school is not that of training elites, but ones overall growth happens here. The education system here has all the qualities inherent which make it one of the best and ideal education systems. I had no clarity of thought until I reached class 11th and my conversations with my friends and classmates started getting inclined towards science and mathematics. With time the subject captured a larger space in my mind and most of the spare time at school was spent discussing about science and maths. Hence a dream was born in my head to pursue engineering.
Soon it was time for my 12th and I had to take extra pain and make tireless efforts as I was simultaneously preparing for my boards and JEE. By this time, I had this understanding that I have that calibre to compete at JEE yet I avidly felt a need of having a guiding light in life – someone who could guide me on my rights and wrongs. I also felt that an environment is imperative where I could just focus my energies on JEE studies. Talent and skill are important, but once met with a platform, it can produce astonishing results. Private coaching was far beyond our reach and means, and if life would have advanced at that track only, I might have compromised by taking admission in any engineering institution. But if life demands many things, I was also demanding something from it.
I was about to lose hope when CSRL happened to me. I appeared for the selection and was fortunately in the selection list. Now life was asking something from me – it was labour and rigorous labour for studies. The CSRL Super-30 centre in Thane, where students sponsored under the Project MGL Unnati of which I was one, undergoing residential coaching for our engineering preparations, provided an exceptional environment and study curriculum. The teachers at Super 30 became that guiding light I was longing for. The teaching methodology helped students solve even the toughest of equations with ease. All the students here were exceptionally equipped with aspirations and one common goal. The guidance and grilling from the faculty and emotional support from the staff will always remain etched in my memory. Though I did not have any particular time table, but my daily study would include 8-9 hours serious sittings.
My dream fulfilled when I cracked IIT and here I am now pursuing Electrical Engineering at IIT, BHU. Initially I was to be given a seat at IIT Delhi but due to some protocol designs, I was not eligible for IIT Delhi, hence ended up securing a seat for myself at IIT BHU. The thought that I am an IITian thrills me. I enjoy the creative freedom and student workshops inside the campus here. This is a different world–students around me are the creators of future, they talk about innovation and ideas. Lately, I have developed a passion for programming and I aspire to become an accomplished programmer some day.
Highly inspired by the life of Steve Jobs, I want to convey a message to the potential IIT aspirants that there is no need to put yourself down if you can’t make it to the IITs. Life offers you successful avenues if you can put effort towards your goals, if your determination is strong enough, if you never deter from your way, no matter what challenges life throws at you. You can succeed in life even after studying at other engineering colleges if your will power is strong enough.
At IIT BHU, I sometimes find time for my hobby – singing and taking a few steps towards that I have recently composed a song – ‘Exam thi vo JEE’. After graduating I want to fulfil the dream of my father and brother who wish to set up a travel agency of their own. In the end, I pay my deep gratitude to MGL, CSRL and Super 30 for changing not only my life but of several others, my siblings and parents who always stood by my side through thick and thin.