Tuesday, April 6, 2010

“I have always been lucky,’’ beams Naga Naresh Karuturi, who got his B.Tech. degree from IIT-Madras on 25th July 2008. The 21-year-old has also landed a job in Google R&D, where he’ll join as a software engineer on July 28. “It was an elaborate selection process, but I got through. I told you I am always lucky,” he reiterates.
But one look at him will tell you he has been anything but so. Naresh’s legs were amputated when he was seven following a freak accident. After the incident, his sister Sirisha carried him around in school. In Class III, Naresh got his wheelchair. Then, Sirisha began pushing his wheelchair to school and his friends carried him wherever he wanted to go. Born to unlettered parents and into a family where no one had completed higher studies, this IIT graduate first heard of the premier institution when he was in Class VII. That was when he heard that a school senior had made it to the reputed Gowtham Junior College in Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada which was popular for producing state ranks and IIT entrants. Naresh, too, won an entry into the same college. “It was an expensive residential school and cost Rs 50,000 per student per year. My father could have never afforded that but for scholarships. I was lucky again there,’’ he says modestly.
From Class VII to XII, Naresh’s fees at the residential college were met through scholarships. Later, Naresh was glad for having earned a seat at Gowtham Junior College. “The college segregated students into those who would be trained for the IITs, AIEEE, and other exams. I was lucky to have studied in such an atmosphere,’’ he adds.
Looking back at all those hours of hard work that went into cracking the IIT entrance, Naresh says he couldn’t have carried on without the help of his friends. “I was blessed in having helpful roommates like Sitarama Raju with whom I used to do study.’’
Naresh’s stay in halls and rooms of Gowtham Junior College was his first outside home। “At home, I was very dependent on my folks. They even moved to Vijayawada to be near me all the time,’’ says Naresh. Soon, his father, Prasad, taught him the importance of being independent. “Since then, I began to push the wheelchair myself and crawled my way to the classroom,’’ he says. But sending him to a new place and let him be on his own was difficult. Naresh’s father, a lorry driver, says: “We were a bit scared but never let that fear show. We always knew he could do it.’’ “We also visited him often enough to make sure that he never gave up,’’ said his mother Kumari. Naresh feels fate has been kind to him. “Just a year before I joined, IIT-Madras turned wheelchair-friendly. The institution donated this electric wheelchair when I was in the second year. This is the best thing to have happened to me. I have Prof Idichandy, dean of students at IITMadras, and student general secretary Prasad to thank for this,’’ he smiles. Professor Pandurangan, under whose guidance Naresh works, says the latter never expects special care and is always pleasant. “He is the gem of our lab.”

Son Of Unlettered Parents, 21 – Year Old Naga Naresh Kuruturi Graduated On 25 July 2008 From The Finest Tech Institute

Posted by Resowatch at 9:20 AM

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