In spite of the cut-throat competition and labour required to get into the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), three aspirants from different corners of the country ravel out a surreal mix of their hard work and hardships.
Now proud students of the IIM-Rohtak, the three boys talked to HT on how they trudged up the ladder of success.
He comes from ‘another India’
Rajiba Tiria, 26, a first-year student of the PGP04 batch who came to the IIM-Rohtak last month, hails from Harida Bahali village of Jazpur district, 100km from Bhubaneswar.
The nondescript village is still bereft of roads, electricity and schools. Rajiba, who had lost his
father when he was in Class 7 and mother when he was in college, is the only child of his parents.
He said: “Unlike this place (Haryana), my village is still devoid of development. People there still live in the old time when education, electricity and modern facilities were a dream.”
Talking about his education, he said: “Till Class 7, I studied at a school that was probably not even recognised and was run by an individual. It was the only option available near my village at that time.”
Traversing 8 km a day via a forest to attend classes, Rajiba’s hard work finally bore fruit when he got admission in BJB College, Bhubaneswar, from where he did his senior secondary and BCom.
It was here he got to know about the IIM and started preparing for CAT. “With little salary I got after working as a salesman for Nokia, I wasn’t able to save money for coaching classes. So, I relied on self study and cracked CAT in my third attempt,” he said.
His blood deceives, but brain supports
Kunal Mendhe, 26, is a student of PGP03. A patient of hereditary sickle cell anaemia, he has been hospitalised more than 25 times for blood transfusion. He had lost his two brothers — one in the childhood and another in 2012 — who were also suffering from the disorder.
“My parents are suffering from the disorder, but they have traits which means it is not life threatening unlike us (children),” said Kunal.
Talking about the disease, he said: “A person suffering from sickle cell can't bear stress, can't go to high altitudes and can't involve in any physical activity that exerts him.”
Hailing from Nagpur, but born and brought up in New Delhi, Kunal said: “On several accounts, I had appeared for my examination when I was bed-ridden.” Due to health issues, he even had to resign from an IT company in Mangalore after finishing his BTech from Delhi.
With the power of positive thought, he said: “If I am suffering from this rare disease, I have also been gifted with sharp intellect and I can learn anything in lesser time as compared to the rest.”
He said: “Even here at the IIM-R, my health deteriorated once, but my parents rushed me to Delhi and I was provided medical attention in time.”
On his future plans, he said: “Doctors say that life of a person suffering from sickle cell cannot be stretched too long. I want to spent rest of my life with my parents and do my bit for them.”
He chose education over farming, labour
Ashish Majumdar, 22, is a student of PGP04. A son of a small-time shopkeeper at a village of eastern Uttar Pradesh, he used to pedal 20 km a day to study at a college in Mirzapur.
He said: “My mother and father didn’t study after middle class, but were very particular about my education.”
“As farming is the main occupation of people at my village, children either end up becoming farmers or labourers,” said Ashish, youngest of four siblings.
About his struggle, he said: “After studying at GD Binani PG College, Mirzapur — one of the top colleges there — I went to Banaras Hindu University to pursue my MCom. Since my family couldn’t afford the expenses, I taught at a tuition centre to pay college fee, hostel charges and meet all other daily requirements.”
He slogged through all difficulties to finally secure a seat at the IIM-R this year.